As Charles Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”
Dickens was writing about the cities of London and Paris set against the French Revolution that took place from 1789 – 1799. As others have observed about times earlier than ours, Dickens could as well have been writing about today.
We have the most marvelous technological inventions and the most advanced medical practices. We do not have ethical guidelines to keep up with all this. As a result, abuses continue and class action lawsuits abound.
We have great hope for our marvelous youth as the future leaders of our nation and our world. We have the greatest despair ever known as our youth continue to destroy each other and other innocents. They join gangs, they train to be terrorists, they work alone to commit murders – week after month after year. The resulting tragedies haunt all of us. The loss of even one life in an ugly fashion tears out a part of each of our hearts. We cobble them back together and limp forward, crying on the inside even when outer tears have dried.
The main cause of this, of course, is that we are in The Last Days, per Holy Bible prophecy. Satan continues raging throughout the earth and he is especially targeting our youth, the youth of all cultures and all religions. Satan cannot make anyone of any age do anything. Everyone is responsible for his or her own actions. But his influences are sinister and pervasive, especially on those who are most vulnerable. And to those who choose not to believe Holy Writ – if you have even read it – I say I want to be the fly at the entrance to the Pearly Gates when you try to explain why you chose not to believe.
The extent of the evil one’s success is due to the breakdown of the family. People have forgotten what patience, kindness and respect for one another mean, as well as the immense difference they make to children and youth. Children learn what they are taught, what they experience, and what they observe, whether it is true or not. Unlearning something as an adult is painful and takes a long time.
Children can develop into bullies when out of sight and hearing of parents, the same parents who end up appalled when called into the Dean’s office at a high school or even an elementary school. By high school, of course, the damage is done. The victim of bullying, of clique rejection, of ridicule, will turn anti-social in some way, unless they are extraordinarily resilient. Some of us become writers and spend our entire lives resisting adult bullies, as well as fighting injustice in its many forms, but all of us carry emotional scars from childhood trauma.
Heaven’s blessings on those parents who recognize trouble early and take steps to turn their teen’s dangerous behavior around! They need our love and support so much. And to the parents already blessed with clear-thinking offspring, encourage them to be kind and charitable toward their classmates but without becoming doormats…please! They have the right to stand up for themselves, to be assertive but not aggressive.