I believe what President Bush was talking about, is what we are doing to each other as a People! The hate; racism; road-rage; rudeness; the killing; gossip; put-down of others; domestic violence; child/senior abuse; substance abuse; rape; felonies; the manner-less/inconsideration; greedy/selfish; the disrespectful; racial slurs, etc. All is having an adverse effect on this society!
Following the incomprehensible shootings at Virginia Tech on Monday April 15, 2007, the large headlines in the Albuquerque Journal read, “WHY?” Educators; parents; school administrators; business people; students; social scientists; judges; statisticians and employees all across the country are asking the same question…WHY?
Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA), where I live, we had a similar incident happen a few years ago, only not of the scale of the tragedy of Virginia
After the killings, there was a small memorial placed in the concrete on the corner of Gold and Ash streets, and I’ve walked by there several times. And, every time I walk past there, I stop to say a little prayer for the fallen officers, and take a little time to say…WHY? What are we doing to each other as a People?
The school shootings of recent years are a big black eye for America, as innocent children have been murdered in our schools. Because of this, many of our schools have increased security and look like fortresses, which is a shame! In my view, the finger has to be pointed at the parents, who are not teaching their kids manners, values, and two of the most important words…mutual respect! There are many people out in society who should have never become parents! Hate, racism and bigotry has to start someplace…and it usually starts in the home and in the streets. Kids are taught to hate!
But, parents are not all at fault, in my view, because of the way things are today in this society, and it all revolves around GREED! Greedy corporations only looking at the bottom line, whereby both parents have to work to make a living, and one parent can’t stay home to raise the kids, etc. Kids at a young age need guidance, and discipline, and sadly, for the most part, there is not a lot of guidance in the home these days! As a nation, we are producing latch-key kids, who come home to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the streets…and THIS is where the kids get there guidance!
Today, a couple has a child, and the first thing that happens, is to give that child to a baby-sitter or somebody else to take care of and help raise, etc. Children need their parents, especially at a young age and in their formative years! Children learn from adults…good things…and bad thing, too! If a child is raised by a negative person…a racist; bigot; a person of put-down and hate…that child is going learn from that adult, and I don’t care if that person is a family member or not! Ever wonder why the suicide rate among young people is so high?
Parents get themselves in huge debt…and many times they can’t handle the load with beg mortgages; a couple of gas-guzzlers in the driveway; credit card debt; furniture; keeping up with the Jones’…and that means working longer hours, and that means less time with the kids, etc. They shouldn’t have had kids in the first place…all they’re doing is damage to the kids!
I was standing in a concert line one time, waiting to get tickets and I had a conversation with a woman who was also waiting for tickets. And, we were talking about these very issues, and she told me that her top priority and goal in life, was to raise her children and grand-children in the proper way…teaching them respect for others; values; manners and the imp0rtance of integrity. This woman had her priorities in the right place. But, there are many parents who don’t have priorities like this woman. They’re more concerned about themselves; their projects; money; materialism and keeping up with the Jones,’ and the time they devote to their children amounts to nothing more than tokenism.
After all, the toughest job in the world, is to be a good parent!
All of us know, that national surveys can be pretty accurate. I read a national survey recently, whereby, parents were asked the following question, “If you had it to do all over again, would you have children?” A whopping 72% said they would NOT have children if they had to do it all over again! I was astonished with this number! Sadly, there are children all over the U.S. who are simply not wanted. They’re rejected right from the start, and become a burden to a family, and I think that is one reason domestic violence is on the increase! Child abuse…senior abuse and domestic violence are all on the rise in this country.
My ex-wife of nineteen years, spent her adult life working as a social worker in the Human Services Department of the state of New Mexico. Here, she has seen the horror of babies thrown in a dumpster like they were trash; kids beaten black and blue by their parents or some other member of the family. There aren’t enough foster homes across the nation to take these unwanted kids, and this is a huge black eye for America! The killer at Virginia
Another tragedy came in Pennsylvania at the Amish community where five little girls were murdered one by one, by another mindless individual who had no place in this society. What makes this story even more tragic, is the fact that this mindless individual had every intention of raping these little girls before he killed them, but police came on the scene too fast and interrupted his wicked act. Just when you think you’ve seen the ultimate crime, that can’t be topped by another crime…along comes another crime that leaves you asking…WHY? What are we doing to each other as a People?
Here in New Mexico, bad behavior is everywhere! Corruption; scandals in state government and in school systems, etc. In the state Treasurers office, three were convicted of fraud and a scandal in the construction of a County courthouse, two of the employees pleaded guilty to money laundering and a former Mayor has pleaded guilty to the same charges. You’d think that people in high places would be a role-model for our children, but DWI in Albuquerque is at an all-time high. Judges; school administrators; teachers; television people; athletes…DWI is everywhere! A two-time welter-weight champion of the world was caught on tape throwing up out of his car in the streets! (a disgrace!)
After five job layoffs over a decade, I worked as a temporary employee longer than I would have liked. I worked at this one company, where the company put out a memo to its employees, stating that there was too much gossip and put-down of others going on in the work place, and it had to stop! At a bank I worked at, a woman was crying in the lunch room one day, and she told us that there was a clique in the building, and she was being harassed. We never saw the woman again!
When I was in school, I was teased and put down, because I didn’t speak the English language well. Because of this, I refused to give oral book reports or participate in class discussions. This had a negative on my education for years to come. Students and employees can be hateful to each other, and everyone has their own story about the hate that has been generated their way, etc.
Recently, we’ve seen national figures on radio, on television and in the movies, have gotten themselves in trouble because of their mouths and/or actions! These are people we want to be role-models and mentors for our children? I don’t think so! The senior President Bush was right…we do need a kinder, gentler nation! Whether it be in Albuquerque, Pennsylvania or at Virginia