Last week I found myself driving through one of my childhood towns. Impulsively, the car turned onto the road where my oldest memory of being alive on this earth began. I parked in front of the home where I was merely three; surprisingly, it still brought back a flood of memories after all these years. One cannot help but consider how much time has passed in 51 years since then. Helping people for a living justifies the path taken has been the right one. The years of early direction, guidance, and accountability lessons have all been applied well.
My ball of life-clay hasn’t easily molded into form. It has not been fluid or without challenges to get to the enjoyable place where contentment breaths within presently. I do reflect here with certainty; a reverential demeanor towards a wiser generation was always prominent. The way it should be with all upcoming youths.
He was a petite blond boy not much more than 11 years of age, standing there confidently as if he had had decades of built-up mistreatment at home to fuel his anger. The clothes were well-tailored, as there was barely a single spec of dirt on two white sneakers. Both arms were spindly, his stature laughable and worth a headshake. The hair had been purposefully spiked up for effect to influence others, hopefully buying into his tough-guy persona. Such a worldly little human being he must have been – in his mind.
The little potty mouth flowed with a constant rant of nothingness in substantive thought or substance. A lot of wind blew from such a prepubescent virgin tragedy. He stood 42 inches tall if he stood 3 feet. There a hulking, pitiful, little misguided product of negativity rambled on towards others simply because he was encouraged to do so by his mommy dearest standing not 5 feet away from him.
He and I found ourselves within proximity in a somewhat confined space seeking to conduct the same business—my intent: to do what I needed to do and continue on my way. Too much going on in my life to focus on the trivial until his squeaky voice confidently said the following to me: “step aside, G, or next time I’ll put a nine-millimeter cap in your head.”
Daddy’s little man then formed the image of a gun with his tiny sausage fingers, pointed them towards his head, and figurately pulled the trigger while looking me straight in the eyes. A real gem.
This sad, needy, fellow clearly had been failed by his parents in every way. When does violent programming begin, and why has it been allowed to become acceptable? Influence starts at birth, period. Respect is a basic concept, but for some reason, the parental requirement of passing this on is lacking.
It has always been apparent; when we plant compassion in the youth of tomorrow, we strengthen the fruits reaped in public today. There is a direct correlation between how we start, to where we end up later in life. When we accept that learning is gleaned from deviations made along the way, the course of life productivity can still be bountiful.
As a society, have we drifted so far from the very responsibility of teaching decency towards one another from an early age? Do we now indeed have a legion of youthful negative energies looking up at us with indifference towards what is proper and respectful in terms of conduct and life value? I sincerely hope not, but there are most assuredly more than a few growing up right now who adults have failed—the poor children. It is the parental ignorance that I find most disdainful at this moment.
I wonder, after having my head threatened to be blown off by a pint-sized rager, how many more sad stories are lying in wait fueled by pent-up rage. Are mommy and daddy too busy now to be bothered to perform an essential job known to humankind – displaying love?
I hope this current version of tomorrow’s leaders who thought nothing about ending my life will be set straight and become a contributing members of society one day. Children are our future; their path needs to be laced with kindness, empathy, and reinforcement from birth. Thankfully, this troubled little monster is still young enough to be remolded back into proper clay form. Moreover, I forgive, and I feel sad for him. He needs some tenderness in his life; it was owed to him upon his first breath. So many other children are still due this as well.
It is time to pay up.