Posts Tagged ‘sadness’

Funny. But not Ha Ha funny…

As I write this, I am listening to a news report of a 17 year old who murdered his 10 year old brother. I wish that I could tell you that my reaction is horror and shock. But it’s not. It’s simply sadness. I wish that this were unusual, but it’s not. The things that people are capable of… it’s astounding. Seriously, I know. I am just glad that this child murderer was not under 10. Frankly, that’s all I haven’t dealt with yet, is murder. The younger kids, though, they do everything else. If you believe that there is anything that a young child is not capable of, then I will tell you first hand that you are wrong. Rape, Arson, Felonious Assault… it’s out there and it’s not some mistake in the way the police report it. It’s happening.

That said, there is a reason behind these young children who do such awful things. These aren’t bad seeds. These are kids who counted on their family to do right by them and in most cases, the family just couldn’t. Couldn’t keep them safe from abuse or community violence. Couldn’t keep them safe from drugs. Couldn’t keep them safe, period.

Family is a funny thing. This random group of people that you end up with. People who you can only get so far away from because they are linked to you by DNA. Family can define who you do or do not become. They can show you the best and the worst and leave you wondering how much of who you are is a reflection of them.

Family should be compassionate towards each other. They should be tolerant and sensitive. But in the end, we do well to remember that in many ways we are glorified animals and in nature, a lot of animals eat their young. I suppose, given that perspective, maybe we should be grateful that all we did was fight over the turkey instead of ending up on the plate.

We can only make so many choices where family is concerned. But I can tell you one thing. Abuse is never ok. Never. There is no excuse or reason or justification to put your hands on another person like that. No matter their age. There is never a reason to belittle or demean another person. There is never a reason to treat anyone, least of all your family, as anything less than an extension of yourself. Not just treating them as you would want to be treated, but treating them as they would have you treat them. Sometimes that means simply taking their feelings into consideration. Sometimes it means not beating them down simply because you don’t like what they have to say.

Families are funny, though. Every single one of them has a story. Sometimes those story’s end in tragedy.

I hope that it doesn’t take a tragedy for most of us to recognize what we do and who we are. It’s the little choices we make that define our character.

May we all be proud of the character we define.