Needed: A Dose Tough To Swallow

Opinion:
You might consider these words a spring tonic of sulphur and molasses, or castor oil in Coca-Cola. I have no doubt my message will be taken in the wrong way by some who will choke and gag on the words this humble ex news slinger offers. But it’s eating at me. It’s not aimed at any individual family. I expect some folks might un-friend me for writing this…. But its merely what I see:
Young people shot dead…either by other young people, or police officers… Then… people talk about how the lives of the victims are cut short. My answer might seen callous… but at some point, we’ll have to understand-
A 30 second encounter with a rival, or a law officer is the end of a year’s long issue.
And no amount of looking away can avoid seeing the question laid out, and surrounded by yellow crime scene tape. Those last few seconds mark the end of a neglected life… a life with no authority figures in the home who can say “No, you are not gong to (fill in the rest). Men often abdicate their position of responsibility by either turning their back on the family who needs them, or being incarcerated themselves.
God Bless responsible single mothers and dads who have to fight everything from influence by social media, intimidation by bullying, gangs, influential videos, and misplaced aspirations. My generation has tuned in, turned on… and now… often dropped out.
Raising a child is hard. And sometimes- no matter how much you try, hard to get right. It’s a cactus farm of dangers. You need a back-up in discipline, and a second moral compass…. and, maybe not the least, a person who can help navigate a youth into an adult who has a vocation, an aspiration, and a goal for life.
I’ve talked to young people caught in the drug slinging culture who have told me they don’t have any expectation of living beyond 20 years or so.
The COVID Pandemic has been stealing the headlines from record drug use and mental health.
Not every single adult household is facing imminent collapse. Please don’t interpret these comments as a wholesale indictment of any particular group in our society.
Try to look at it this way….those last thirty seconds of life.. could be a culmination of a young, troubled, unsupervised, and under-parented life.
School teachers can’t do it alone. The church is having trouble retaining pastors because of the many pressures on them…and, anyway…church membership is flagging in some sectors of of the Faith community.
Mental health centers are stretched to the max, and it might take months to get a bed available for a patient. Meanwhile, families are left to cope all on their own.
There’s what I believe to be a drought of parenting.
Law officers have to make a split-second life or death decision, and they have their own family waiting on them to return home. They are sworn to defend the law. And the law specifically mentions they can only use deadly force when they have a reasonable fear that they, or someone else is faced with imminent threat of death, or serious injury or bodily harm.
I submit that all too often, there’s a threat of bodily harm, or death-too-soon… that’s generated over a period of years.
Not just those last few seconds.

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