What we become is a product of our thought and a product of how we choose to respond to the social and political processes at work daily in our lives, from our very birth. The young child begins to learn what responses to give that will gain him or her attention, affection, or approval. The family is the cauldron of our being. Often what we see, we become. Aggression breeds aggression. Lies creates liars. Lack of regard for the child leads to the child have a lack of empathy for others. Poor familial boundaries leads to the child haivng poor boundaries in regards to others. How do some families evoke such violence upon their own children? We live in a society where children are committing the crimes of adults, where children are rapidly entering the world of adults but lack the growth and maturity to be fully responsible and understanding. Because of societal pressures, adults are abandoning their children, and children are thrown into a brutal quest for survival. They are exposed to the corrupt world of adults. Parental egoism and desire for self gratification become passed down to the children. Families shrouded in secrecy and denial are often the most destructive upon the minds of children. This becomes the breeding ground for the most vile of thought and action. These are the families who make lofe about control- ‘do as I say but not as I do, do this because I love you”. The child has no clear direction. They then begin to seek to break from their painful reality. They are fearful, possibly mre fearful of living than of death. These children because of what they have seen and heard become persons as well who seek to use power, domination, and manipulation upon others. These are the children who become offenders. The mechanical world we exist within, where those who are not of the elite must struggle day by day leads to children being cast aside. The mechanical mentality has infected all institutions. Schools are no longer about learning but conformity, where students produce desired results for their teachers. We are creating frustrated families and frustrated children. This frustration has now built to the level of rage. This rage is destroying the minds of our children. This rage leads to violence and conflict. Is there a way out? Is there another way? It requires us to evaluate our responses. Life is suffering, all are presented with problems, this we cannot escape. But we can chose how to address our problems. If persons begin to lay aside the pain and hurt, and can build resiliency against the violence said to be ‘love’, if we can become survivors rather than victims, we stand a chance. If society and families can re-evaluate its values and principles, there is a chance. Many times a child is helped by having a helping person journey with them. We cannot do this alone, we must have others to journey with us. We need the restoration of a sense of community, of our inter-connectedness. There are no easy solutions. Sadly, the battle for the ‘soul’ of our children will mean some will be saved, and some will remain lost. But if even one child can be saved from the pit of self destruction, the efforts of time, compassion, and wisdom will be well worth it. In a world so rife with despair, it is so easy for us to fall into the same traps. Let us guard our minds, let us strive for social justice, and not give up hope that even in our small way, we can make a difference.
Dr. Dan L. Edmunds.