This is a time when a lot of the cooler conversation will be about violence and how to combat violence. It has been pointed out that most or all of the perpetrators of mass shootings have been on medication to control their behaviors. Probably is true, I have no way of knowing so with a grain of salt, I’ll take this as fact. Many people want to point the finger at the drugs or the misuse of the drugs as being the cause that made these shooters commit their violent acts. That I have trouble with.
Before going any further, I would like to give a link to a lady with a lot of experience with coping with troubled youth and the use of drugs to control behavior. Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane. She is a saint.
One of the on-going problems facing communities is juvenile delinquency, a form of violence. In schools, the continuing topic teachers and administrators are asked to deal with is bullying, a form of violence. Since I was attending Junior High school some 60 years ago, juvenile delinquency and bullying have been ongoing problems facing society and I am sure they have been topics of discussion for hundreds of years.
Let’s face it, we are a violent society; a society that thrives on and enjoys violence and are fascinated by, intrigued by or even enamored with acts of violence. The majority of movies we watch glorifies violence. Most video games are themed around violence. Even cartoons most often use violence as the source of humor. Violence in the news gains the most viewers even to the point where broadcasters parade before us a litany of past similar events.
Why is violence perpetuated from generation to generation. One answer comes from Proverbs 22:6; “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” There are many adages on the same theme we are all familiar with. “Monkey see, monkey do.” “Children are the best imitators ” The violence continues to persist because as parents we train our children to react to violence in the same manner as we do, tolerating, exampling and demonstrating violence in most of our daily lives.
“What! I don’t teach my children to be violent!” – Oh, Really?
Do you perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus with your children? Or the Easter Bunny? Yes? You lied to them and that could very well be the starting point of violence. Lies they are told will always remain in the recesses of our children’s minds and just may effect their conceptual understanding as they mature.
How many of us have, in frustration, said to our toddler, “Pick up your toys or you can’t have…..” Yes? That is bullying.
How many of us watch violence on TV? So we do accept violence as a way of life.
For the most part our children will live through these parental foopahs and not resort to violence to solve their frustrations but, they will, in turn, perpetuate the same behaviors.
Within our society, over half the parents still resort to spanking as punishment for misbehavior. Even in Christian circles many justify their actions by quoting the non-Biblical adage, “Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child”. The phrase is a twist on Proverbs 13:24; “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” The rod is the symbol of authority and the discipline is a command to parents to have diligence to instruct. What the Bible is saying is that it is the duty of the parent to rightly train up the child.
It is this gradual accumulation of knowledge which children pick up from a very young age which has an impact on development which forms their social skills and character.
In the wake of the latest school shootings, a horrified and disgusted society is depending on respective governments to enact legislation which will curb these senseless acts of violence. President Obama hopes to develop new strategies to tighten gun laws and has asked VP Biden to head a task force on the causes of gun violence. As though it is the guns that are the cause. Perhaps some minor improvements will take place. But, until there is a positive change in the culture of society, a positive change in the way society in general nurtures our children, violence and the resulting tragedies will continue.