One of the greatest problems that we have as a society is that we aren’t real with each other. The advent of political correctness and being non-offensive has created a society of mediocrity and weakness. The greatness which we as a nation had dwindles with each passing moment because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. The Bible says that the poor will be with you always. That doesn’t just mean economically poor but also poor health, poor spirit, poor soul, poor minds… there’s a whole lot of poverty!!!
The school shooting in Connecticut is a travesty. 20 children and 6 adult lives ended senselessly. The part that makes me mad is seeing ALL of the articles written, after the fact, about the shooter and how he was prone to depression and was withdrawn even in activities that he enjoyed. All of this analysis of his personality, character and all of the stats but, where was this ‘information’ before he shot those people? Where were all the concerned citizens before these children were killed? Like I’ve stated before, we don’t care about each other until our lives collide and here we have yet another collision.
The easiest, most difficult thing to do is pay attention. It is easy to do. The difficult part is that in order to do so we have to take the backseat. We have to put our agendas on hold. We have to take the time and meet someone else’s needs and that’s hard.
When I went to elementary school, I tended to get into a lot of trouble. Let me rephrase that… I got into a WHOLE LOT OF TROUBLE when I was in elementary. Disrespecting the teacher by not listening, always busy and out of my seat, always talking… I was always doing something (kinda sound like my children). Here’s the interesting part tho, my work was always completed and always correct. My principal’s name was Mr. Jefferson (I know, another Mr. Jefferson). At one point, he got tired of ALL the discipline slips, all the calls to my parents and ALL the paddling. Yes, paddling. His paddle hung on the wall right next to the door.
Mr. Jefferson and I sat down one day and talked. He reviewed my work and saw that I was an exceptional student, scholastically. He also saw that one of the ‘complaints’ was that I was always trying to help the other students. He also knew my parents and that they were good people. He then gave me a few written tests and was amazed at how quickly and accurately I finished them. He found out what I already knew. Here is a smart kid that is bored. The problem wasn’t my actions. My actions were the result of the problem. I didn’t have enough stuff to do. I was bored. If anyone would have asked ME, I would have told them I was bored but no one’s going to listen a kid who’s always in trouble. But, Mr. Jefferson did and he saved my academic career in the 4th grade.
You see. I started to hate school because I was always getting into trouble. I started to hate my teachers because they were the reason that I’d get into trouble. I started to hate my classmates because I was trying to help them. I started to hate my parents because they kept making me go. I started to hate myself because I had no control over this situation. These were the thoughts of a ‘happy’ 9 year old. But, again, someone took the time to search out the real reasons behind this ‘problem child’.
When I got the note to see Mr. Jefferson, it wasn’t a comfortable thing. My classmates were like, “well he’s going to get it again…” My mind was racing. “I didn’t even do anything this time!”, “what’s he want now?”, “I hope my dad isn’t here again!”… these thoughts and seemingly millions more just overwhelmed me. I was being confronted about being a problem. It wasn’t nice. It was very uncomfortable. During the conversation, he hurt my feelings but I decided to be honest with him. I didn’t play the ‘hard role’, the ‘juvenile rebel’, or the ‘hellion’… I just talked to him. I didn’t like being singled out, or having a permanent seat in the hallway or being paddled any more than anyone wanted to see me in the situations. It was a win-win.
The resolution to this ‘problem’ was simple. He met with my teachers and decided that whenever I turned in my work, I had a “Go straight to the Office” card. I didn’t have to stay in the classroom. I was an official office helper. This simple move was awesome!! My self-esteem and confidence were boosted and it gave me pride. All of a sudden, I liked school!!
I could have easily became an Adam Lanza. How many others are headed down that path? How do we fix it? I hear some of you… It’s NOT about gun control. It’s NOT about more government regulation. It’s NOT about what the president is going to do. It’s about each one of US taking the time to show some kindness and love to each other. We don’t have to only look at those ‘bad kids’ but everyone needs love. Whenever love is missing, we reach out, or react, in strange ways. The shooter reacted by killing the source of his missing love (his mother) and then killing what saw she loved (children and school).
If we all took out the time to ‘save’ one person…
I love you ALL!!!
Also, check out my website… http://www.JackieSmithJr.com