WARNING: The following blog entry is not intended for an immature audience. It is sarcastic, angry, and facetious. Readers should not take seriously the dismissive tone of this blog, as it is used only to illustrate the problem.
We don’t know what has caused you to be so terrifying. We don’t know why you are so prone to evil. We don’t know why we can’t conform you as we do the rest of society. We don’t know and we’re not going to find out because we are threatened by your very existence. You remind us that we are not omniscient, and that for all of the advances we’ve made in science and medicine, we still cannot control you.
We don’t know what makes you tick. We don’t know why some kids are angry, some kids are depressed, some kids are happy, some kids are active, but you are withdrawn and building bombs in your parents’ garage. We don’t know why our kids don’t like you–and don’t blame that on us, because our own dislike of you is YOUR fault for being so non-conforming and distant, not ours–but they must have their own equally rational reasons for snubbing you and making jokes at your expense.
We don’t know why the older kids push you into lockers. We don’t know why the guys point and laugh at you in the locker room. We don’t know why the girls spread rumors and gossip about you. We don’t know who put the KICK-ME sign on your back, but we admit we chuckled when we saw it. We don’t know who your parents are, and we don’t truthfully care.
We don’t know why you can’t cope with the world as you find it. We don’t know why you can’t just accept that you’re an outcast and not worthy of being part of the socially acceptable crowd; or even the lesser acceptable crowd. You’re neither “in” nor “out;” you are nothing.
You are nothing.
So the only logical thing to do is ignore you–or if we find ourselves in a position where we must acknowledge you, we will be as dismissive as possible–until you lose it, until you flip out, until you snap. And when you snap, and that bomb you’ve been working on in your parents garage blows up our own children and their friends, we will smile in satisfaction, knowing that you’re dead. Or if you haven’t died, we will lock you up for the rest of your life.
LOCK YOU UP FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
Shame on us.
You are not crazy; you are lost. You are not hateful; you are angry. You are not evil; you are alone. Shame on us for treating you like a monster. Shame on us for raising children who treat you like a monster. Shame on us for pushing our elected officials to treat you like a monster. Shame, shame, shame…everybody knows our names. But we don’t know your name.
We don’t know you. We don’t know the the horror and humiliation of being outcast at school. We don’t know the trauma of being mocked and mimicked. We don’t know the devastation and disillusionment of being dismissed by parents and teachers. And as long as we don’t have to look you in the eyes and see how hurt and broken you are, we will never know you.
Will we never know you?
Will we never be a society where children feel safe?
Will we never be a society where children can grow and learn and ask questions and feel their emotions?
Will we never learn that you cannot alienate a hurting person and expect them to skip happily through the “societal norms” you have set?
Are we still so dull?
Two weeks ago, we remembered the families, the friends, the neighbors, the community, and the victims of the tragedy at Columbine ten years ago. We lit candles in remembrance; we stilled our thoughts and words for a moment; we honored the lives of those who were slain; we hoped for a better world.
Did anyone remember the two young men who were so devastated as to lash out in such a tragic fashion? And has our nation done anything to combat the insane society that breeds such brokenness?
I remember you, Eric Harris.
I remember you, Dylan Klebold.
Your actions were not justified. But ten years after the fact, my heart is still broken for you. You were not monsters. You were children whose childhood was ripped from you. Why didn’t we see?
Why do we never see?
God, open our eyes to see your children as You do. Give us the grace to love even those we don’t understand, those who withdraw, those who are distant and distanced. Give us the mercy to embrace those who are struggling around us. Change our hearts, change our minds, change our attitudes about kids who’ve been hurt and dismissed. Open doors of opportunity, that we may begin to solve this problem of alienation that continues to grow. Forgive our apathy and our condescension.