Another child lashing out with violence. Children killed, wounded, terrified and scared for life. What a heart breaking time we live in. What stubborn closed minds we have.
In over ninety percent of school shootings, bullying is sighted as the major activator. A kid who just can’t take it anymore. Teens don’t start out that way. They start out as newborns – a blank slate, a book with empty pages. Everything that happens from the time of birth forward fills in the pages and writes the story of every persons path. Imagine only good happening to each child, only positive influences in their lives. No one picking on anyone else, no negative talk of being fat, ugly, weird, a loser. What if all our kids accepted each other just as they are.
Unfortunately, most parents are so overwhelmed with life in general, they aren’t tuned into their kids enough to know when they are keeping quiet just so they won’t get beaten up. Or about the mean notes shoved into their lockers every day. Or the threats against their younger siblings if they don’t comply. Most of us cross fingers and hope the rest of the school year goes as well as it seams to be going right now. Not exactly happy to head out the door in the morning, yet not refusing to go! Must mean everything is a-okay! Right?
It must be so hard to be a kid these days. To be strong when they are scared to death, to be up when they’re really down, to be there when they’d rather be anywhere else. And to smile just often enough so no one suspects all the hurts and the wrongs tearing them apart.
We can all help, weather we’re parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors or friends. We can all decide to talk to those surly teenagers rather than avoid them. After all, they’re probably surly simply because they need to talk! Send a smile their way even when they scowl, say hello even when we’re ignored, wave even when we know they’re going to pretend they didn’t see. Small gestures, but we need to start somewhere, and I believe it’s worth a try. I hope you do to.