Biyernes, Pebrero 20

Child Rearing in these Precariuous Times

“They get what they want,
But they never want it again
Go on take everything,
Take everything you want to...
You should learn to say no.”
-Violet, Hole

I was a crazy kid in high school.

Reminiscing high school life fills me with alternating dread and relief. I was so “socially adept”, it was horrible. At that juncture of my life; I didn’t have much respect for authority. Generally, I lacked respect for anyone. Irreverent, would be a nice-sounding description for it.Thankfully, I did eventually grow out of that phase.

And while I am as irreverent as ever, I have learned to channel my energies better. Call it maturity, call it getting older, call it getting tired…basta napagod ako sa pagiging pasaway.

When those “open party” stories circulated through the blogosphere some time back, I was left reminiscing times past. After sifting through epic proportions of reposts and replies, I now have the basic facts:

A high school kid went to an open party. He danced with a girl. They cam whored. And some time later, the same kid got beat up.

End of facts.

When I look at the incident through my wild child high powered lenses (also known as I thought about it for five minutes…while taking a dump), my reactions were the following (in order of thought process):

-Whut?! OMAYGAD. That’s so appaling. How could these people do this?

-I am never letting my (future) kids parteeeey

-Meh. It’s so epic. And so high school.

-Must get to the bottom of this.

So I made an effort. I sifted through more blogs. I even wrote to the people involved. It was a helluvalot of clicking and googling. Such a Herculean task. But I didn’t want to just repost stuff. I mean, so many people have reposted the beat up kid’s mom’s letter. I didn’t want to join in, repost without verifying.

In short, ang arte ko kasi kaya nag hirap akong magresearch.

After all that investigative journalism, I came up with these conclusions:

  • The kid was beat up at an open party, that much is true. But when it comes to determining which party he went to, confusion abounds. There were two open parties that night.
  • Some people and groups have become whipping boys. Other kids have taken (undeserved) heat for this. Just because they were mentioned in the beat up kid’s mom’s letter.
  • So many people have posted,reposted and reacted to this issue; it has become a case of mass paranoia.
  • People seem to have forgotten that high school kids tend to do stupid things, it’s what they’re supposed to be doing at that point. We “grown ups” should hold ourselves morally accountable to them. And accountability as elders includes being mature enough to keep oneself in check before lashing out on kids. This means that: GROWN UPS SHOULDN’T JUST REPOST WITHOUT CHECKING OUT THE FACTS.
  • And lastly, though justice must and should be served; let us not blow things out of proportion. I will say this again: these are high school kids.

When you think about it, it is not their morality that we should question.It is our own morality that we should question. We should ask ourselves how could we have let this happen? And how could we call ourselves adults if we refuse to see beyond the blame game?

This incident should serve as a wake up call for all of us. It is not a reason for vendetta or prohibition campaigns. It is a call for tolerance and maturity. It is a call for self-examination.

Raising children will be difficult, no matter what decade you happen to be in. When our children get hurt, we naturally want to retaliate. We want to strike back at once. We suffer with our children. We have all the reason to be mad.

But you know what?

When we strike back at those other kids who have hurt our own; WE FORGET THAT THOSE KIDS HAVE LOVING PARENTS TOO. And that these parents can and will be equally hurt by our actions.

Who shall cast the first stone, then? Cast it you may, but remember to look at the dirt on your palms.

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