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  1 month ago

Roots and Shoots

This isnt about gardening it is about what might cause teenagers to go mad and start shooting people. As they are often shot dead themselves we cant ask them or study the chain of events leading up to the massacre too well, but perhaps we need to be asking young people themselves about their mind sets at age 15/16 and helping them to root productively in their community. If there is bitterness we need to weed out the cause of that and give them an early sense of purpose and self worth. I believe that when people started work at 16 or earlier it gave them a sense of being grown up and part of the community even if they had not been too successful or popular at school.
Do you remember feeling left out, not fitting in, angry at something you couldnt clearly identify, rebellious and not know who to confront because your parents were all ready overloaded and distressed by their own life's demands. I know felt like that for at least 2 years. Fortunately I wanted to be a good person like all the good people i knew of from books I had read including, but not exclusively Jesus. When the angst set into me with hormones raging i turned into into wanting to fight for justice and make the whole world fairer ( it didnt seem it was treating me fairly).
I wont mention all of my most stupid efforts but wanting to be a nun and then leading the school Communist Party comes to mind-some revelation led me to hand produce leaflets with a red elephant. on them and give them to pupils in the school.
I gathered up all my dolls and wrapped them in cellophane and gave to a fund raiser for the starving in Biafra. I remember my form teacher saying 'are you sure about this?' We were not exactly well off and i suppose they thought it was all i had?

It all culminated in me becoming anorexic and taking pills, self harming and dropping out of school when I should have gone to University. Nobody really noticed, my parents had a baby and my dunce of a brother left school to dig for the council at 15. If it hadnt been for my grounding in spiritual ideas of sacrifice and kindness in my church primary I would have gone totally mad or killed myself. I couldn't have killed others but maybe if i had been male, had no dad, had to share a room, a sick parent or a sibling in jail etc perhaps it might have tipped me over into worse madness.

Although i dont entirely understand how a man dying on a cross thousands of years ago in a foreign land saves anyone now i do know his ideas of love and altruism in Bible stories brought me through a bad time in one piece. In this respect Jesus saved me, but also maybe Mother Theresa, Corrie Ten Boom, Albert Schweitzer, Gladys Aylwood and all those icons we read about in 'Girl Annual'. What do kids have now to cling to ? Puff Daddy, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, XBox animations.?...They are influenced by a whole lot of other bods who just never grew out of teenage angst and leading them to despair and depression and drugs. They have no hope.

I am just glad the girl whacked with a duffle bag for hurting me emotionally at school got over her cancer in her 30s and now on my Facebook. Seems trivial now but back then the hurt was like a knife wound. Only Jesus led me to forgive myself for losing it . I felt bad about that incident for years until i met her again and she'd totally forgotten it.

Most of this seems to take place on FB now not in person but the teens still feel those emotional knife wounds. Real knives and Guns are a step further than emotional wounds but maybe it's a cry for real life and relationships to happen-look at me, see me, hear me, feel me, let me be part of things, give me a job, give me self worth?
I think some types were better off going to work at 15 -it saved them from the decay of idleness and negative introspection.
What are your thoughts on teenage shooters?


  1 month ago
What a powerfully honest and generous topic, Yvonne.
And how right you are about the lack of healthy, positive rôle models for youngsters today.
When considering, for example, the shocking incidence of young men committing domestic violence and even infanticide - one has only to study the lyrics of rap music records ; the subject matter of relentless hate, vendettas, casual violence, rape, gang rape, living from immoral earnings, and drug dealing... And kids have this music drumming into their ears 24/7 - and cos it's on their iPod thru earbuds, parents no longer have any clue of this type of subject matter....
They probably assume that teenage rebellion via pop music looks very similar to when they were young; a bit of cheeky double entendre ... "let's spend the night together", "Why don't we do it in the road", or "Relax" .. if only.
Parents, if your kids are into rap music: do your kids a favour, look up the lyrics of their favourite records online. And if it shocks you, don't tell yourself you're just out of date! - protect your children. They may hate you for it!! but their mental health and future are at stake!!
PS. I say this from experience... I was an early adopter of the genre, from NWA thru Slim Shady, Bubba Sparxx. That's when I realized this stuff was doing my depression no good whatever, no matter how brilliant it is, or how great it sounds...


  1 month ago
It comes down to mental health issues in my opinion! Reply


  1 month ago
We live in a sinful world some folk arexjust plain evil . When guns are so readily available and evil gets its hands on them this happens Reply


  1 month ago
After all that the most significant result was that i had to accept life isnt fair and never entirely can be - you just need to set your sights and try and try and try again, but the aspiration to be good will always be with me. Reply


  1 month ago
I can't match that, am shallow, and a rotten communicator, but... :). Too much isolation from 'regular society' in all it's shapes and forms, coupled with an obsession - obviously if it's the wrong obsession - is a recipe for trouble. Some can be more broadly analytical and grasp the difference right from wrong, others hold grudges and a few apply twisted logic destructively. Chuck in emotions and national constitutions ( of fine words ) taken literally, and there's a problem. Reply


  1 month ago
This is such a sad story. There is such a lot of violence watched on television and some get it into their heads we can do the same. Laws have to be changed to stop this happening. Reply


  1 month ago
It sounds like you had a trying time, Yvonne.
In America I see the problem as the availability of weapons. Even with the worst trauma in childhood it won’t lead you to shoot if you cannot access the weaponry.
Children (and others) are protected from implements that would aid their end. They are taught how to cross a road safely, how to use electricity etc.
Then handed a lethal weapon.
We all have up days and down days.
Add anger at the world for life not being fair and the result is sadly predictable.

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