Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Senseless Tragedy

A senseless tragedy. That's what comes to mind when I think on the events of Monday, April 16th. How is it that we've become a disposable society? How have we come the mindset that if we feel we've been wronged we can take it out on another person? From road-rage to drive-by-shootings, the tragedy of September 11 to today, violence has become the norm in our society. Whenever you tune in to watch your evening news there is always something being reported about lives being taken / lost, and that's beside the news report of the war!

Some blame this on the children who do these things. I think it goes much further than that. I think that parents have to be held accountable too. Maybe not accountable for their children's actions but most certainly for theirs. If parents were more active in their children's lives then maybe we wouldn't have to ask "why" whenever events like Virginia Tech happen... maybe they would decrease or not even happen at all. If parents knew their children better, and the things that they are going through in their day-to-day lives, then maybe we could stop these things from ever happening. Yet, there are so many parents who are so wrapped up in their own lives that they fail to see the hurting child that is standing before them... that's where the tragedy begins.

We should have learned our lesson when the Columbine shooting occurred. As a nation, we were focused and vigilant after that day in history. But, as time wore on, we got lax in our vigilance and went back to how things were before. When it comes to our children we cannot afford to be lax in how we parent. We also need to take interest in the children that are in our children's lives. Since we cannot look at someone and decipher whether they have it in themselves to kill we have to keep a watchful eye on our children and those who surround them. Granted when they go off to college that is more difficult to do, but we can still ask our kids questions about who they know and what they are like. Just because our children are old enough to go to college doesn't mean that we are done being parents.

I know that I may be coming off as very extreme in regards to parenting but sometimes we have to be extreme. If we don't take interest in our children's lives, and the lives of those around them, then we are ignoring the fact that events like Monday's can happen. I don't think the parents, of the kids who were killed at Virginia Tech, are responsible for the events that happened Monday. (With the exception of the parents of the young man who committed this heinous act.) But someone who knew that young man must have been able to see that there was something wrong in his life. Or maybe not if no one paid attention to him. Who can see what's before them if they don't actually look?

It is our responsibility to be active in our children's lives. It needs to be our responsibility to be active in the lives of our children's friends. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the neighborhood kids. We need to become a society that sits on our front porches again and watches all of the children as they play in the yards and the neighborhood streets. We once were a society where everyone knew all of the children that lived on their street. Now, we're lucky to know who lives right next door to us. By knowing who lives around you, and who is involved in the lives of our children, we will be able to prevent some of the obvious dangers that surround them. We might just be able to go back to a society that is more caring and actually respects human life.

For the Virginia Tech victim's families, I pray that they will find peace and healing out of their loss. May God move in their lives as they try to move on in life without their precious loved ones. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.

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