Monday, October 5, 2009

Too Familiar to Too Many

I was watching Glenn Beck the other day, talking to the FOX Business guy (I have forgotten his name, sorry) about that High School student who was beaten to death. This was a boy who, in the midst of terrible circumstances, was making the most of his opportunity to learn and grow. The video is horrific, but another tragedy hidden from the camera is the sheer number of children who are exposed to the violence every day.

I grew up in very rural Wisconsin, my hometown has fewer than 1000 people and always has. On top of that, my family were farmers, and the nearest neighbor was 1/2 mile away. Here's a blast from the past: Our home phone was on a party line we shared with 3 other homes. For you youngsters, that means we couldn't just pick up the phone and call someone, we had to make sure the line was free. My family did not fit in to the prevailing environment, and my schoolmates made it very clear they did not like the difference.
My mother and father were very smart, very moral, and very Catholic

My classmates, as well as older kids, would always pick on my sister, brother and I. I am the oldest, so it was my responsibility to protect them, and I tried. I remember several fights I got into and lost. A few on the bus, a few at school. Here I need to point out that the only weapons were hands and feet and no one was killed, although I would have liked to kill some of them. Once we even got into a feud at a campground with another "gang" of kids. This type of violence is and was not restricted to large urban areas.

Yes, the violence is worse and more widespread today than back in the day, but violence is violence. And it has a lasting effect on those who have lived through it.

That's the real tragedy for children in this country.