I have been thinking about those whose lives ended very abruptly due to violent acts committed by their peers. Those who have been murdered by someone whose only way of handling things was with a gun. Those whom have ended their lives by the hands of two men who raped and beat another to death. Most shockingly those whose worlds are rocked by the deaths of the people who are murdered because the murderers wanted to kill so they could see how it felt.
I often wonder if a killer shares that same sentiment, doing it for the thrill. When did minority communities become a haven for youth between the ages of 18 and 24 to become cold blooded killers and rapists? Now, don’t get me wrong I am not saying that other communities do not have these issues as well, but I am speaking to the evidence that I am witnessing currently. The victims, assumingly were all productive, positive and well loved people in their circles. They may have come from homes with parents who were active and present in their lives, they may have went to college, they could’ve possibly done well, and lead full lives. So,how does it make sense that young people who were up to so much get taken out by people who are up to just taking life out of the community? I previously thought that it made no sense and nothing could be done, until I started to think like a sociologist.
Does someone become a killer overnight? No! However in one’s life between the ages of four and eight are extremely delicate. This is where children learn about love, passion, punishment, consequences, hate and they discover their friends and they either choose them or they are chosen depending on how much direction they receive at home. Now, I am no specialist but I can bet you guys 50 cents that the killers of these young people, probably had something traumatic happen in that development age that shaped their perception of the world since then. They were probably fed lies that they were less than, they weren’t enough and it is possible that they were once great students but they did not receive the positive attention that they should have, so they turned to the dark side, or I could be completely wrong! We can only make assumptions on what we see and hear within the community, and most importantly I certainly cannot walk in another's shoes.
Children cannot learn self love on their own. It has to be taught, and reinforced daily. They have to be reminded by parents and those around them that they are whole, complete and capable of everything that is great, positive and wonderful in life. Children should be praised for their work, and their accomplishments. When a child does something that isn’t positive, beating should not be an option. Take it from me, who was beat as a kid and yes I am testifying that all it did was reinforce that those who love you, will beat you, even if you did not do the crime. When a child does something in error, a conversation needs to be had. Talk to the child and see why they made that choice. They are not fools, they are fully present and their answers may surprise you. Listen to the children, they have wisdom. Chances are if you establish a conversational way of working out errors when they are little, one can only think that those patterns will continue when they become teenagers and adults. Too many children are scared of what their parents will do or say, so they hide, they lie and they get into further trouble because they are very scared of the consequences.
I say all this to say that love starts at home. Which means that lying, hiding and secret keeping starts at home too. Some people are able to pull themselves out of destructive situations and go on to live productive lives, however I can guarantee they have issues with trust and being forthcoming because of their childhood chaos. I am not saying that someone who grew up in loving home will be perfect, but I am saying that they will probably be more honest, forthcoming and straightforward because that is what they have been taught. I urge parents to talk more and beat less. Go to PTA meetings, get in touch with your kids’ closest friends’ parents, share your errors with them, BE HUMAN!!!!! The end result will be rewarding. I cannot promise that your child will not do something that won’t make you want to beat them or punch them in the head but check yourself. Is this something you would have done? Is this a path you or your partner would have chosen? Is this forgivable? If one out of three of these answers is yes, then work with your child, talk to them. Don’t scold and yell with no follow up conversation. And to those of you old school parents please don’t say, well I would have never said that or done that. Yes, I understand but this is 2015 and our children are up against things that you and I have never dreamed of. The predators are out in full force and the internet is a HUGE predator to. It is up to us to teach our children… we must or the streets and or prison will teach them the lesson we failed to.
Let us be a community who thrive on love, teaching and forgiveness. Instead of just being a bunch of tough parents, how about we be loving parents who show our kids our flaws and errors and how we learned from them. How about we stop hiding and pretending like we are perfect and stop punishing our children for just doing things that children do. Teach our babies, and not beat our babies. Love our babies and not punish our babies. Talk to them lovingly, with patience and faith that they will learn to practice the right way of living. We all need to do this, because once a child feels like they do not have the love of their parent, they start looking elsewhere. Elsewhere has often proven to be dangerous. Love is the answer to healing our communities. The love begins with us. Love you the most and you will realize that you will have nothing but love to offer anyone else. Forgive yourself for all your transgressions and appreciate the life and the person you have become. Learn from your errors and stop punishing yourself. Look towards the future and remember that you are whole, complete and capable of all things. Just say the word and so it shall be.