Time to Foster Change

Enough With The Distractions – We Have To Do Better

I know we live in a troublesome world, but there are still some times when something occurs that leaves me swirling in an uncomfortable state of being. It is during  this moment when I realize it has become increasingly more difficult to believe in something greater than myself when one day cannot pass without having one’s attention thrust upon some newsworthy event that just doesn’t seem possible in an advanced world. One would think if such a greater power did exist, wouldn’t there be more of an equilibrium? Why does the world continue to fail so miserably when it comes to the people who live in it.

The World, Society, Civilization, Humanity whatever you want to call it. Why do the frailties of humankind always seem to continuously win out? We also have many strengths such as intellect, rationale, conscience, and benevolence to name just a few. So, why does life on planet earth feel so damn unstable?

In recent months, a six year-old child took a gun to school and shot his teacher. That one sentence tells a whole lot about the country in which I live. Another child, an eleven year old girl, committed suicide after being bullied at school for months. I for one, would like to believe that both of these unsettling set of circumstances were a rare one time occurrence. But, sadly that is not the case. 

Hundreds of children under the age of ten in the U.S. alone, have been arrested for gun violence. And thousands of children under the age of twelve have taken their own lives, the youngest being five years of age, with bullying as the main factor. This amount doesn’t even take into account the countless number of teenage kids who also decided to end their lives.

I think of these children and realize many of them due to their age do not possess full cognitive ability or the mental and emotional maturity to fully grasp their actions.  But, here we are continually bearing witness to young children committing unthinkable acts that leave devastating permanent consequences because they don’t know any better or their young minds can’t find another way out from what they perceive as an unending, unsolvable and therefore, unlivable situation.

What has happened to society that it has become commonplace for vulnerable youth to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders? What is wrong with us that we can’t come up with better solutions to handle such messed up scenarios?  We humans are some badass people, we have done some pretty remarkable things since the beginning of time. We put a man on the moon for God’s sake.

You would think we could come up with some effective programs and systems that detect and assist troubled youth facing mental and behavioral disorders and other developmental issues. Due to their age, they are already behind the eight ball because we all know youth equals immaturity in all matters of normal development. Now, add traumatic circumstances that add fuel to the fire.

They don’t stand a chance unless society starts to care enough to make the necessary changes. We gotta stop pretending that we don’t know that the eventual society we end up in begins with our youth. If our youth are struggling and not getting the help they need…society or should I be more poignant and say…humanity is heading for the rocks.

I know as a parent with a developmentally delayed child that pediatric mental health is not a number one priority, at least not in the United States. I also know that resources for any cognitive and/or behavioral issues a child may have are a scarce rarity. You really got to look..hard. And you have to have the financial means to pay for the appropriate care you seek because most insurance won’t cover what you’re looking for.

We are failing our children. And I don’t understand why. We have the capability of making lives better, yet things never change. I get that most of us are just trying to make it through the day. Societal problems don’t really rank high on the list when one’s main thoughts center around  providing for oneself and one’s family. I’m sure the last thing on anyone’s mind is “How can I assist in solving major world issues.” There are just so many of them, it’s really rather overwhelming.

It’s understandable why it’s easier just to become immersed in social media, sports, celebrity, reality TV, video games, Netflix or whatever else we use as a distraction. I get it. To me, there is nothing better than sipping on a Crown Royal watching the Michigan Wolverines play for a national championship. But, we need to start paying attention. 

I think at this point we are all readily aware that our government doesn’t like change nor does it move very quickly when that change becomes imminent. So, I guess it is left up to us everyday Joe and Jane’s to take notice of the failings around us. As fruitless and impossible as it may seem, we gotta at least try and bring awareness to the issues that resonate and touch our hearts.

We all know there are times when our government needs a kick in the ass. It, too, needs redirection now and again. But, the only time it takes heed of that nudging is when citizens like you and me become fed up with actions or non-actions they insist on forcing us to accept. Well, I for one, am unwilling to accept any longer the gross indifference by the government toward gun violence, insurmountable child suicides, unacceptable health care, aversion to mental health issues, and lack of children’s rights, just for starters.

I would like nothing better than to binge on Ted Lasso episodes, but I’m writing this instead. Because I want this to be a better world for my child and other children who find themselves growing up in a society that gives off the impression it really doesn’t give a shit.