Are we losing an entire generation?

Just as our nation has found some sense of community healing from tragedy, and natural disaster along comes the headlines in friday’s news media… another school shooting, this time involving young, innocent elementary school kids.  This senseless violence touched every life that has a heart, a sense of compassion and a moral core.  How can someone grab a gun and end the lives of so many innocent lives?  Why does this go on, and repeat itself? How are sustaining this insanity?

While we will never know the total picture of this latest incident, there are a few things that we need to consider:

1.  What were the warning signs of this act of  violence?  While the news media loves to whip us up to believe that these are random acts of violence the truth is they are far from that.  The pathology of such acts leads you to believe it is alot like an earthquake… there are rumbles – warning signs.  Perhaps it is initially a low level anger, harsh words, but over time escillating to argumentation, being a loner, feeding the soul with cruel and destructive information that leads to acts of violence that devistate families, communities, schools. Did anyone see these things?  Was he harsh to his mother?  Did he abuse or argue with other people?  Was he antisocial?  Was he spending a lot of time on a computer tucked away in some crevice of the house?  Was he obcessed with darkness?  If you want to learn more about the warning signs to look for check out this link on the american psychiatry association web site:

My question is this – in your life do you see someone that fits this profile?  Neglecting the obvious only leads to escillation, and destructive violence.

2.  The influence in raising kids when they are young is critical to who they become.  Stable often breeds stable.  Dysfunction is not fun, and leads to problems, and drama and crazyness.  We have a generation that has been raised far from moral values, often in single parent households.  With lack of ability to do better many kids find themselves raising themselves or letting social media and games raise them.  The morals are stripped away and they appear to not have a sense of what is right or wrong.

I am still extemely angry and feeling a sense of being robbed by actions of a twit this weekend.  No,  not the school shooting now, but a real life encounter with teen age predatory behavior.  Last night a teenager Steve has been working with asked to use his cell phone.  He made a call, and never returned the phone. Steve was busy and never thought about it until the end of the night.  It was no where to be found.  And it gets better.  His aunt found him with the phone, took it and determined it was Steve’s phone.  She got it and we got it back…. low leveled, and the sd card missing.  Yeah, that was nice.  The phone is like a door stop.  Thank you preditory jerk.  I find it so very hard to understand how a kid who has been someone steve has been mentoring would do this to him.  Break down trust, credibility, and any shred of thought that this kid could rise out of the muck he is in.  No, i think his formative years shaped him into what he is today, and he has learned how to take advantage of life, of the kindness of people, and of the trust and dignity we grant others.  His choice is clear… the mask he wore is now off, and an ugly, sin scarred preditory jerk remains.  So are we loosing a generation?  When i see things like this i say Yes we are.  We are perpetuating a generation that will lead to the rapid decline of civilization because they know only how to steal, kill and destroy.  They are pawns in a chess game for the stability of the world… to destabilize and destroy.

3.  There seems to be an invasion of influences on every side.  Bombarded by TV, radio, cell phone, social media, school, the streets… the influences and pressures to conform to lesser standards, with a willingness to digest greater and greater levels of violence and stupid things does not stop.  Just flip on the news… it is a circus of great detail over horrific events, and the good stuff never gets mentioned unless the reporter’s kids were involved.  There was a loud outcry on facebook and twitter this weekend to end watching or supporting the media… AME N,  when we start turning it off we might get the reaction to bring change, but the actions have to grow to letters and phone  calls… Call them, tell them how fed up we are about the invasion of our homes with these gory details.  Lets begin protecting the privacy of people in grievous pain, and respect the dead.  Are we loosing a generation?  Yes, i think if they have only known the news to be like this they are learning that this is normal.  No, a thousand times it is not normal to shove a camera in front of a grieving parent, or the victim, and interview them.

4.  Education is devoid of moral components.  When we stopped teaching that there is a right and a wrong we stripped a generation of that knowledge.  I remember in my high school you lived in fear of messing up because swats awaited… and the whole floor heard  them.  The sound was often worse than the punishment… but the point was we knew when we stepped over the edge there was a consequence, punishment, repurcussions.  That kept most of us firmly on this side of the cliff.  why is discipline awared with social services agencies taking the child, suing the parent.  When did the inmates begin running the place?  A return to a healthy understanding of discipline would begin to restore balance to our world.

OK, i got it off my chest.  I dont want to see anyone lost. I dont want to see the next generation wonder what they are inheriting.  I just want to see a return to a world that has safe places, adults that model their parenting skills well, and kids that grow up to be responsible adults that do good.  And i dont want to loose hope that anyone is beyond the reach of God.  But i wonder, and find myself asking God to give me fresh eyes to find some love for kids like the one i wrote about.  Love, not necessarily in the form of the soft and fuzzy stuff, but love in the sense of setting healthy boundaries, keeping wise distance and knowing what the balance is in dealing with them.

Prayer:  God, you know the very core of each of us.  You know our thoughts, our ways, our intentions.  And you know if we are seeking after you or running the other way.  Tonight I pray for the many families impacted by the senseless violence.  I thank you that you promise you will be there in the midst of them.  and i ask that you bring healing, and comfort to each of them.  I also ask that you guard us daily from senseless violence.  Cause those who are ill to get help.  Keep us alert and vigilant to the signs of escillation of violence.  And grant us wisdom for how to act regarding these individuals.

And i think of this kid that stole steve’s phone, may you pursue him, and encounter him, change his life. It is you alone, King Jesus, that can interviene in this situation.  And may he not be permitted to take advantage of anyone else.  Guard our hearts, give us wisdom, and keep us from anger over these senseless and stupid behaviors.

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