Normally I would be writing to you as readers with a bit of humor, but that’s not this week.
This is following an encounter with Netflix, a weekend at drill with my unit and a movie from a child actor.
One of the favorite ways people describe the coming generation is that things were simpler and they worked harder than us.
I’ve mentioned before that I feel like every generation has the same problem with different catalysts and I still stand by that, but one thing about my generation is we have an abundance of social media.
We were the pioneers of it and we have grown up with it literally in our back pockets. Problems have become a widespread, even global issue, and we can check it out by hopping onto the devices in our back pockets like second nature.
A couple of weeks ago I kept seeing statuses pop up on Facebook about a Netflix series about a little boy’s trials. People were saying how they just couldn’t understand how someone could do this to their own child.
I’m not a crier. I don’t cry watching the notebook, I don’t cry when I get hurt and I don’t usually cry at other people’s problems. Please, don’t take that as a lack of empathy—I have more than enough of that—I just don’t like that empathy to come out in the form of tears.
But I cried. I cried because I had to check this out to see what it was about and found that a young boy had been killed at the hands of his own mother in California several years ago.
The case ended with death penalties being issued, which is uncommon for the state, and social workers being tried on the stand as well.
I held my babies a little tighter after this. I thought about how this little boy passed with no sliver of love given to him in his last moments.
A mother who was supposed to love him and lead him through his childhood into his life ended it instead.
A mother who was supposed to stand up for him didn’t.
I carried this with me to drill and I looked at my soldiers who all come from different backgrounds and just need someone to be there to lead them. To help them through parts of their careers and let them shine.
I think the grim episodes of “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez” helped me even more in this department as well as in the confines of my own home.
I look at my soldiers and try to put myself into their shoes for anything they are going through.
I want to be able to let them seek out the guidance they need in order to get themselves, and their careers, where they think they should be.
And sometimes that means I have to put my own rear-end out on the line to make sure that happens.
But one can never know what kind of trials and tribulations that person who you are leading has gone through in their lives.
Just because someone has grown up to become a soldier, a banker, a teacher or an astronaut does not mean they have had the luxury of a good upbringing.
Just because they smile now does not mean they did not get thrown around as a child by someone they thought they could trust and just because they have a laugh that is completely contagious no matter who you are doesn’t mean they didn’t have an uncle, or someone else close, who was inappropriate with them.
I also mentioned a movie from a childhood actor. You may, or may not, know him. His name is Corey Feldman and he released a movie he put together that calls out several people in Hollywood as he was growing up in the spotlight and as one of America’s heartthrobs.
But this movie, and the names he gives, makes the spotlight so much graver. The names are of people who were involved in pedophilia where he was the unlucky minor of who knows how many.
I am finding the world we live in seems to spin a lot faster and get more messed up by the day, and I have to wonder if these horrific things that I’m seeing and I look to the places that blame is laid.
I know I have mentioned compassion in an article before, but I feel as though it’s still relevant—every day.
You can never know what a person has gone through by looking at their face years after the fact, just like you can never know what horrors they have seen and faced by seeing what profession they have gone into.
People, we don’t have a technology problem and we don’t have any other kind of problem that can be fixed without taking a hard look at humanity as a whole.
I can’t be sure of how many, but I know a lot of people will simply say that it is a problem with technology availability.
The acts of those parents, the unknowns of someone else’s life and the struggles of people who get dealt bad hands? Those are people problems. Those are decency problems. Those are the problems that should never have to happen.
They are problems that others look at and wonder, “What’s going on in the world?”
They are problems that may never have surfaced had that status not shown up on a Facebook page or because someone decided to say something.
So I sit here and have to wonder how people can be so cruel. I wonder why we have such a “people problem.” I wonder “how can one person even make a difference in the world?”
It’s a problem that there doesn’t seem to be a solution for.
But until there is a solution, I will simply have to continue to raise my children to have compassion for one another and their fellow humans (no matter how crappy some of them may be), to value themselves and others and to know how to not be the cause of furthering the “people problem.”
Sending them into the world scares me, but if it has to happen, they will be prepared to take care of themselves without having to hurt someone else to do it.