Sick and Disturbed

I saw a story on the news earlier today about a thwarted school massacre in Georgia. I was at work and not really able glean all of the details because they were sketchy at the time. I’d only heard that the gunman was in custody and that no children were harmed. I said a prayer for those folks that were fortunate enough to not have to endure losing a child to violence.

A little later, I got to listen to the woman that pretty much single-handed got this 20 year old man that came into the school office and demanded this secretary call the local news station so that they could “film him killing” children. He came in with an assault rifle and the woman got this kid to listen to her and eventually, put his weapon down and give himself up to the authorities. She said she’d talked to him and commiserated with his feelings about being angry. She also shared a recent personal tragedy with him. After watching this story on the news, I cried. I saw the interviews of some of the parents that had gone to the school to pick up their children; the worry, the distress and the fear. I can only imagine the anguish they felt on the ride to the school.

I watched another story from North Carolina of 3 young “men” – teenagers, that were “bored” and randomly chose a jogger to shoot to relieve that boredom. The young man they killed was a student – a visitor to our country from Australia. I’m horrifed and disturbed by their act and the callousness of it. I’m sure these teens parents are facing the realization that the parents of the Australian student are facing: Their lives are over. His very promising career and life was snuffed out by 3 people that apparently had no appreciation for human life.

How does this mindset happen? Is this mental illness? What kind of disconnect with the world do you have to have in order for you feel justified in taking a strangers life? I can’t say that I’ve never been mad enough at someone to think about killing them. Believe me, I’ve been beyond pissed at a couple of folks that I would have been just fine with never seeing again. I thought about it and realized that relying on karma to dole out just punishment would have to do. I don’t look good in orange jumpsuits and I knew my mother would be heartbroken. Makes me wonder who’s teaching this kids? What are they teaching them about their fellow man? I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that there are people – young people that want to kill someone that hasn’t done anything to them – because they have nothing better to do? Or, thinks that they are best able to prove a point by killing innocent children? Both acts are sick, callous and disturbing. These are only two stories that were on the news today. Without a doubt, there were countless more that we didn’t hear about. This has got to be a sickness.

I know that there are times that as children, we sometimes see and are victims of things that we do not speak about. Things that we don’t tell anyone about for various reasons. No doubt, there are children that you’ve either grown up with, known since childhood, perhaps have children of your own that have experienced things that shape how they see the world and how the world sees them. I’m praying that people will look at their children and teenagers with a more critical eye. That they start talking to their kids to find out how they see the world, fellow man and their own place in it. The young men from these two stories obviously didn’t see a place for themselves and had no compassion for their fellow man. We need to wake up. These may not be our children today, but the thing about sickness is it spreads – and it spreads quickly, especially when it’s allowed to run unchecked among children.

3 thoughts on “Sick and Disturbed

  1. Dynomite topic, Reina. I have some theories about this. When young minds are subjected to thousands of “virtual” murders on t.v. every year, images of real wars on the news, stories, nearly every day now, of “officer involved shootings, murderous video games,” etc., it must disturb the mind. It disturbs my mind and I am a senior citizen. We, as a country, have lost our innocence and that loss extends to our children, whom we purport to love so dearly. We would never feed them poisoned food, but we routinely feed them poisoned thoughts. Secondly, there are very limited mental health resources in this country; so much so that when someone observes disturbed behavior in another person, they know it is useless to try to get help for them so they rarely try. Common sense has gone out the window. The gun culture runs rampant. My Brazilian cousin, Susana, an older woman, frequently visited her daughter in California and while here, cared for her grandchildren. She did not watch the news at all because, she said, “I can’t possibly allow the children to see the horrors going on around them.” She was one of the last bastions against allowing the ugliness of what the world delivers to your livingrooms 24/7. The minds of Americans have become desensitized to violence. This alone is totally sick and disturbed.

    • Thanks Mom 🙂 I’ve never really thought of equating the feeding of poisoned food to the feeding of poisoned thoughts, but it totally makes sense. I too am distressed by a lot of what I hear and see on the news and know that to some extent, I can feel myself becoming desensitized – something that I feel is unacceptable. I fight every day to see the world from others POV, struggle to “hear” their voices and how they perceive things – especially children. I can totally understand why Susana wouldn’t allow her grandchildren to watch the news and appreciate her reasoning. The problem with that for me, is that I feel that children know things. They will hear it from their peers, it’s alluded to in all kinds of media. They are much more aware than we give them credit for. They aren’t oblivious. And it is a sad realization that we have to sometimes assist with stripping a layer of innocence in order to help keep them safe. It’s necessary to show them what kind of sick people can be found roaming around in society, (age and maturity of course a consideration) in order to give them the knowledge that everyone in this world isn’t sweetness and light and teach them how to keep themselves safe. Thanks for stopping by, I always look forward to your feedback – it inspires me and gives me encouragement to post the following week.

  2. I know how empathetic you are. I admire it so much. I’m thinking that although kids will hear second-hand news from classmates and friends, seeing the images is somehow much more damaging. Today CNN aired row upon row of dead Syrian children they claim were killed in a chemical weapons attack. These innocent little faces were lined up like so many dolls on a toyshelf. Very little shocks this old brain, but this time, I cried. How do you think this fleeting (and therefore not terribly important) image would affect another child?

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