When I was a kid things were just as bad is a line I use to hear often. Then when I was a parent, I am certain I said it myself. Well, times they are a changing, as I heard on old reruns many times growing up. In this day and age, it is true. I am not 100% sure history completely repeats itself. We did not initially inhabit this country we live in now called the United States so we should not take our freedom and civil rights liberties for granted.
Children these days face many challenges none of us have ever had to deal with. The reality of violence in schools is more real than ever. We may have had our share of bullying. We may have been talked about at a party, or over the phone. This day, due to the advent of the internet, being picked on and ridiculed happens 24/7. It has become the new norm. It is inescapable to its victims.
Studies have shown time and time again that words are very harmful, mentally and verbally. The abuse these young people suffer can lead to feelings of anger, depression, lack of confidence, withdrawal of feelings, even mental illness in extreme cases. In some instances, it can lead to drug abuse, shootings, runaways, rebellion, and delinquent behavior that parents can’t control. We did not have to deal with having our classmates ruin our entire lives 24/7.
The violence that is happening all over our country in schools is nothing less than unacceptable. Having teachers concerned when hateful students that are full of animosity threaten them is making it harder to recruit good teachers and students to be concentrating on what they are there for, to learn. Worse yet, the elusive student who is aloof and seems disturbed and is being picked on can be the child that can turn on his classmates on a dime. How do you safeguard your child from the possibility of this happening in school? You can’t obviously so then what is the best way to instruct them what to do if it what seems utterly insane to me occurs, a mass shooting in their school, a place that should be safe? Being a grandparent, I simply shake my head in shock that such a conversation would have to occur at all ever happen in America.
Watching my grandchildren this past weekend, I was even more so affected by hearing the news in Paris than I would have been sitting in my own home. Something about this particular situation really hit a nerve in me. Here I was, in my son’s home, with darling innocent 5, 6 and 7 year old children that could be representative of children anywhere in the country. They thrive on living, playing and learning. They love smiling, laughing and living each and every day.
They had gone in the other room to play in their rooms abit and their grandpa turns on CNN to get the world news. What we are met with is shocking images of Paris violence. This is in sharp contract to the beautiful mantel below the tv screen all decked out for the holiday season, complete with angels in gold. We are both spellbound watching the news and reading the tickertape line at the bottom of the screen. Then we snap into reality and flip the channel and within minutes the youngest grandson walks in the room with his armful of boxcars for his beloved train. While are worrying about the safety of the world, he is gathering his train pieces so he can put his train together in the family room and begin his long journey around the countryside.
Literally a minute later, in walks my grandson with an armload of trains in his hand, lining them up on the floor in front of the fireplace by his hand-made Santa to pretend he is the conductor. His innocence of his face, his smile and his simple play in sharp contrast to the horror of the images that had just played out on the large screen television over his head just minutes before. I had an urge to pick him up and wrap him in my arms to protect him from anyone evil out there hurting him. I wanted to pick up the phone and call my son, his daddy, and say I love you quickly lest anything happen to him.
I can only imagine how his parents must feel inside with all this violence in the world, balancing the need to protect your child with the knowledge that there is only so much you can do. And so you pray, you vote and you stand up and make your voice count. And you live, live without living in fear for we all deserve that.
One thing for certain there is to learn from all this chaos going on in the world that is truly inhumane and crossing borders of all countries, take time to love on those worth loving. Recognize our world can be harsh and don’t be so quick to say we had it just as bad; we did not have some of these things hanging over our heads children have to deal with. Older children have a sense of the world’s conditions too. How unfair to be raised in this environment for them.
These images being shown of violence domestically and internationally are atrocious. We never know, when we turn on television sets to local channels, what images we will be confronted with next and where it will be taking place. But we know we can’t live our lives in fear, nor can or should our children. They must and deserve a future, one full of hope, promise and not flooded with nothing but evil images of mankind.
My grandsons love trains like all little boys. My granddaughter loves dressing up like most little girl. All children deserve adults fighting for a safer world for them to play in, learn and grow up so they can take over and be the parents and grandparents one day.
This holiday season, let’s make a point of changing channels in our home and not feed the propaganda wagon. Why create additional PR for bad news bandits. I still believe in good over evil. I know everyone enjoys hearing happy-ever-after stories as it instills faith. And yes, I still believe my grandchildren, and yours, will prevail and make a more peaceful beautiful future for our world. Click Here