Okay, now you've heard of it.
Great, welcome to the conversation. I've always had a cursory appreciation for the old saying, an appreciation that extended only to that it takes not only parents, but aunts, uncles, grandparents, educators, and members of the community all pitching in toward the ultimate goal of producing someone who will hopefully contribute to society and not be a meth addict and beat his girlfriend. Of course, this happens - at least partly - because a member of that boy's village didn't step up and beat him (some manner of discipline, anyway), and tell him that this was not acceptable behavior. He became that way, at least in part, for lack of direction toward a more worthwhile goal in his life from a young age.
As most do, I grew older, graduated high school, and moved out of my parent's house, gravitating closer to my friends and girlfriends instead of my home village. I wandered through a lot of years, alone and struggling, getting into trouble both real and imagined, and longing for the structure provided by the village that raised me.
I now live in a household of five that was, until recently, a household of six. Jeff and Haleigh broke up and Jeff moved out. The situation is a whole lot more complicated than that, but I feel that the details of it is a family affair that you, dear reader, are probably not privy to. We all coexist in the apartment, doing our part and making the minimums every month, grateful for each other's company and contributions.
It's occurred to me that when we get older, it's the people we spend our time with, our friends, roommates, lovers. . . that become that village instead. They don't provide structure like our home village did, that's become our job. The new village is no less nurturing, is no less a safe place, and provides no less guidance in life; sometimes the new village provides more.