Generation Bad News

love-poster-quote_1800-2What is it about this generation?  When I was a kid, all we worried about was if Maria wanted to fight you because you kissed her boyfriend.  “Meet me behind the school after the last bell.”  So, we might go home with a black eye or get punched in the stomach and forced to vomit the meatball sandwich we ate for lunch, but so what?  We had our life intact.  No one thought to bring a gun or a knife to school.  I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just saying it didn’t happen often.

Last Friday a bright young woman’s life was snuffed out.  For no reason.  She said “no” to a boy who asked her to prom and he didn’t like that answer.  So instead of being a man and walk away with his head held high, he decided to be a coward instead.  He took out a knife.  And without thinking about the repercussions, he took her life.  Just like that.

Last month, a teenage boy choked his girlfriend to death, then threw her in a stream.  All because they got into a fight.  This happened in my parent’s town in North Carolina.  In another part of the state, a teenage girl poisoned her grandmother because this grandmother took her cell phone away from her.

A year and a half ago, a young man went into an elementary school and killed 20 children and 6 others.  Then there’s Columbine.  Virginia Tech.  And this isn’t all.  Google “violent crimes committed by a minor.”  You will be shocked.  Children as young as 12 are on this list.  It’s disgusting.

So, here are my questions:  What are we doing wrong?  Why are our children killing others?  Why is there such total disrespect for human life?  Where is the fear of God?  Or morals?  Are we being too permissive?  Are we not imposing enough boundaries?  Are there too many outside influences beyond our control?  Too many violent video games?  Too much social media? 

I am in an outrage, as I’m sure many of you are.  I’m not happy that I can no longer feel that my child is safe at school.  That every morning there is a police officer standing at the entrance of the school in the event that some kid may lose his crap and start shooting at people.  I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for this police officer.  I am.  I understand that this is the new normal.  It still doesn’t make it right.

How did it get out of control?  I’m not judging.  We allow our teenage daughter to have her head in her phone way too long.  We give her not only what she needs, but what she wants more times than we probably should.  Maybe she doesn’t have enough chores around here.  But she has boundaries.  She knows right from wrong.  We took the time to show her the importance of compassion, how to love others.  We taught her to be strong and confident.  How to handle rejection.  How to be a good sport.  Respect human life.

We, as parents, need to step up and raise our children.  Don’t you have conversations with your friends that sound something like this:  “Geez, when I was a kid if I talked to my mother the way some of these kids speak to their mothers, I’d get an ass-whooping.”?

I don’t condone hitting your child.  I don’t agree with that.  But something is lacking.  Somewhere along the way, we messed up.  I could be wrong, but doesn’t it start in the home?  So, people, let’s fix this thing.  I can’t take another news story of a child taking someone else’s life.  There is something so wrong about that.  We need to stop the violence.  And we need to stop it today.  Who’s with me?


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4 Replies to “Generation Bad News”

  1. Oh Mo, such honesty! I’m with you on all of this. I don’t know all that’s wrong these days, but something clearly is….and it’s getting worse and worse and worse… seems there is no worst anymore.

    It’s horrendous the things that children, young little minds that are still shaping and learning and developing and growing, are not only committing terrible acts of aggression, violence, murder, retaliation, and a lack of impulse control but that they’re also taking the lives of other young ones. The level of disrespect is so enormous I’m not even sure where to start anymore….

    I used to think that making a difference with young people I meet was enough, but clearly it’s not because the number that aren’t getting any difference-making outnumber those that are. It makes me cry sometimes, just to think about it.

    But, truthfully, in my opinion you have it absolutely right – it starts at home, really at home.
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  2. It’s interesting that you wrote a blog about this sad subject, and I will be doing so, too. when we left for Washington DC on Friday afternoon, we departed from Milford, the town where the shooting of the girl who said “No” took place. Imagine how this poor kid has ruined his life, all because he couldn’t face being rejected by some girl? Not to mention the damage that’s been done to the families, friends, teachers, and the collective consciousness in the entire high school population. All I could think about was that these poor kids had their prom night, a highlight of their high school careers, overshadowed by darkness. It is, indeed, very sad. And, ironically, our high school was hosting its junior prom.

    Tomorrow, a friend and I will be on-hand at the high school health and wellness fair, administering Reiki to students. Last year, I was the most popular vendor in the whole place, with twenty or thirty students looking on and wondering, “What the heck is she doing?” In a very short period of time, I was able to help these troubled kids – kids who were cutting, suicidal, depressed, angry, overwhelmed by their busy, demanding lives, and just plain stressed-out – relax. Reiki helps release tension and anxiety, as it activates the parasympathetic nervous system. These kids of ours – all over the country – are under too much pressure to perform in all areas of life – academically, athletically, and socially – and yet they are not given the opportunity to chill out and reflect on the good in the world, to be grateful for their opportunities. why? Because they are too gosh-darn busy moving from one thing to another and worrying if they are going to succeed. We set high, high standards for these kids to do well in school, and for those who fall under the bar probably do feel inferior. My guess if this poor kid in Milford regrets what he did this past Friday, as he has changed the lives of many, many people in the wake of his violent act.

    So, what’s the solution? We need to provide opportunities for our students to meditate and go within – through holistic the healing modalities of Reiki, meditation, yoga, and even massage. Kids need to feel good about themselves, and it all starts there. If someone is constantly told, “You’re not good enough. You’ll never accomplish that. You’re crazy. You’ve got grandiose delusions if you think you are going to make a difference in the world….” it gets old, and I am sure this kid snapped. I do hope to make a difference tomorrow with these kids, for there are many who are troubled, many who appear to be just fine but who really need some TLC. We need to take the time to listen to our children and support them in their endeavors, especially if they are on the periphery…a bit “different” from The Norm. Not everyone is meant to be the prettiest, most popular kid in school, and that can be hard on kids who feel rejected all the time. Tomorrow, I will hold sacred space for our teens, asking for healing of their mind, body, and spirit, for we all deserve to feel inner peace. And that’s all we can do to make the world a better place, by teaching our youth how to achieve inner peace.

    1. Well said, my friend. But the kid who stabbed her? We’ll have to see what happens there. I sure hope he shows some remorse. Right now, I’m very sad for his family. Can you imagine if your child did such a thing? Awful.

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