Noticed this headline today – ‘Year 8 Torquay students ‘kill kangaroo on school camp'(see Herald Sun September 17, 2010). Herald Sun also ran the following headline today – ‘Family’s Facebook stalker was girl aged 12’.
Cruelty and violence seems to be on the rise and it is not just the boys who are involved. Girls are getting in on the act as well. Not only are the numbers reported appearing to increase so is the level of violence being used.
Alongside this is the failure of those involved to recognise the gravity of the situation when they are confronted with their actions. They appear not to understand the consequences for others, those they bully and their families, the community in which they live, nor for themselves. Whether it is because of the rapid pace of technological change, of the perceived shift in societal values or the rise of a narcissistic self absorbed paradigm in people lives, the facts seem to show that the world we have known is undergoing an earthquake like upheaval.
One thing we should not do is excuse it or to find excuses for such behaviour. Nor should we simply label it under one of the many burgeoning disorders being devised to cover the cracks in the ground. Violence, bullying, theft, stalking and cruelty are unacceptable crimes against others in what ever form they may be experienced.
This is happening and it is happening to and by our children. While we can point the finger at others, jump to defend our kids or simply deny they are involved, this is of little practical or long term help to them and the society in which they and we live.
It is time to stop, find the 5 second delay button and take a good long look at, not only what is happening, but how we might be contributing to it as well. What are our values, what drives our lives and what is most important to us? Are others of innate value to us or simply there to be used so that we can achieve our goals, outcomes or whims? Do we use violence and bullying in our close personal relationships? Are we able to separate our needs from the needs of others and find a way to support them, not just our immediate family, but those who are outside our family, often different to and unlike us? What do we model to our children? Do we hold them responsible for their behaviour? Do we say no and put a limit on what they can do, have or expect?
These are the questions we all need to tackle for ourselves and our children for without a serious and concerted effort by all involved with our children the future can seem to be a little uncertain, to say the least.
It is up to us.