Growing up in the early 70s in Rome, Italy, meant playing on the streets, kicking footballs against buildings and parked cars and amuse ourselves with whatever we could find.
Invariably, we got in trouble. Little things, like a broken window from a badly taken penalty shot or scratch on someone’s car from messing with one of the friends.
And invariably we got caught.
We got caught because the whole neighbourhood was watching.
We got a slap at the back of the head, we got pulled by ears or made stand in front of the broken window to apologise… by any of the our mothers/fathers or whoever happen to be nearby.
When I was dragged back in to my house by one of my neighbours that caught me doing I can’t remember if it was throwing water balloons to passers-by or …., my mum thanked him and then dished out her small dose of slaps at the back of my head…
These are all fun memories. I still remember one of my free kicks that nearly snapped the wing mirror of a parked Mercedes or the moment the water balloon hit one of the passers-by (a bald head was alway the best!).
I remember everyone from our street and whilst at the time we had to constantly run to hide after our mischiefs, I know now, and in a way I knew then, that we were safe and that were constantly looked after by the “village”.
It is so true. It takes a village to bring up a child.
And this was before mobile phone, smartphone, GPS and all other tracking devices.
Everyone talked to one another and we all looked after one another.
Whilst I love social media and I believe it does have a very important space in our society, I cannot help feeling that we are forgetting our real social fabric, the fabric of society, our community and how to look after one another.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I believe that this is contributing to a variety of serious issues, especially with the younger generation, that is leading to mental health, self harm and worse.
What Social Fabric intends to do is to help, inspire and involve communities to rebuild a fabric that becomes a safety net for us all.
We are all in this together.