Do YOU Want to Change the World? Because Here’s Your Chance.

I am so angry today. I don’t know why, but it’s just all added up to…something…that culminated today in my mind and heart into fist-shaking rage. It was sparked by a Facebook post that contained a video of a nine year old boy physically abusing his baby sister IN a daycare. It was meant to be a warning to parents to closely monitor those who watch your children. But, of course, as a mother of a child that few others CAN watch, that’s not what I walked away with.

In truth, I didn’t even watch the video. There were so very many comments that the video made viewers cry and very few viewers were even able to finish watching the video, the violence was so horrible. I know better than to click on that…but I read through the first fifteen or so comments, and almost every single one condemned that little nine year old boy  in ways that I didn’t understand were socially or morally acceptable for one so young.

People saw evil. They saw a future without hope. They saw a person that they believe with all their hearts will never change. I don’t need to watch the video to say, “Shame on them!” I wouldn’t dare comment on the video, as I refuse to open the door for them to tell me what a horrible parent I must be to have a violent child without self-restraint.

What I DO feel the need to do is whatever I can to increase awareness that these children are people. They are human beings! They are God’s creations. I’d be willing to bet that at some point most of those hateful commenters have said something along the lines of, “God don’t make no junk.” Yet, here they are, assuming that He did. That this child, this person, was cast in the mold of demons.

I want to hold that little boy as he comes to the realization of what he’s done. I want to help him be who he wants to be and not who his imprisonment is making him. Don’t you seeEach time you turn your face away from a child you deem unworthy, you are yourself adding a shackle to the chains on that child’s heart. The prison where whatever you’ve seen that terrifies or sickens you LIVES. You are empowering the very thing that you are attempting to eradicate from the world by shunning that child. Children are good. They are GOOD. If you had the chance to break a chain, to unlock a shackle, to free a child, would you?

Then love them. Love them when they least deserve it. When they least expect it. Because if you don’t, what will change? But how? How do you help? You may not be in a situation to hold that child when they weep for what they did when the heat of the moment has seeped out of them. You may not be there to pull them out of an escalating situation to save them from that guilt. But you can help.

When my son thought the shopping cart was on fire in the middle of Wal-Mart, when he defied us and shouted “NO!” he would not get back in his seat, when he hit at us, the dear man sharing the aisle with us never looked askance. He didn’t look at my son like he was a monster. He didn’t give us, his parents, accusing glances. He didn’t shake his finger at us and say, “That kid just needs a good whippin’. And maybe his folks, too.” He. Didn’t. Judge. He didn’t plant yet another seed in my young son’s heart telling him that he is hopelessly evil. That he can’t beat this. He didn’t.

If you are able to reach out to the parents of children like this, WE NEED IT. It’s not like we’re walking around ignorant of the fact that our kids are at risk of doing unthinkable things. Of ending up on the streets or in jail or dead. And we’re not walking around thinking we’re the perfect parents. We don’t need anyone to tell us we’re lacking. We already feel that. And pointing your judgmental finger at us will not make us snap out of some sort  of blind trance and correct all of our parenting deficits. One way to break the shackles binding those children to anger and destruction is to break the shackles of hopelessness and despair that bind their parents. Because when parents can feel free of guilt and shame, they can hope. And only then can positive action happen.

A word to those of you who provide services promoting positive action: Stop turning us away. It’s okay if you, the professional, feel lost and don’t know how to “fix” this. Just don’t quit on us. Because every time you do, hopelessness wins a little more ground. We don’t know how to fix it either and we can not quit. Sometimes having someone to be lost with is the best comfort you can offer. And do not – DO NOT – tell us that you are touched by our situation and our child and you’ll do whatever you can to help, and then slink away so you don’t have to say to our face that you didn’t mean it. It is so much less hurtful if you will just say you don’t think you can help and you’re not willing to try. It doesn’t need to be spiteful, just HONEST.

There you have it. If you want to free the world from anger, rage, destruction, pain, you have to do it one link at a time. If enough of you care, if enough of you are willing to do an act of love and kindness for the undeserving, if enough of you are willing to break one link on one chain binding one heart, even though you will probably never see the glorious moment when the chains finally fall away and that person is free, you can change the world. Will you?



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