The Danger Of Losing Our Connection
I once read a disturbing article in the New York Daily News
about seven teenage bullies attacking a 13 year old boy in Pennsylvania.
The included video brought home the sheer brutality of the attack.
As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but wonder what would make kids
be so cruel to one another. I mean, teasing another kid is one thing. We’ve
all done that. But hanging another kid from a tree? And hanging him by
his jacket from a fence? And dragging him through the snow, punching
and kicking him along the way?
Then it struck me. That level of cruelty can only exist when we’ve completely
forgotten our connections to one another. This happens when we don’t
understand that what we do has an impact not only on the person we’re
doing it to, but on a host of others connected by a web of relationships.
Did those kids think about the impact they were having on this boy?
His future interactions with others? (It’s amazing, isn’t it, how negative
behaviors continue to manifest in future relationships. Raise your hand
if you know what I’m talking about). Did they think about his mother,
or the rest of his family, and how this impacts them? As a father, I can’t
imagine what I would have done had I seen a gang of kids doing that to
one of my daughters. But I can tell you here and now that it would have
gotten ugly. (You just don’t attack a parent’s children like that and expect
to get away with it).
That thought brings me back to parents. What are the parents of these kids
teaching them? Perhaps they’re doing all they can to teach them the right
things about love, honor and respect for one another. But as parents, do
they not know that the lessons aren’t taking hold? Or, worse yet, are they
teaching them this kind of hatred?
I wrote this to remind everyone that not knowing our connections to and
responsibilities for one another is inherently dangerous. It brings about
our most base nature, and leads us away from the American promise of
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Parents stand up!! We’ve got to
do better than this.