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Just a thought - Who's to blame? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, August 08, 2011 5:27 AM

I know I’m not alone here when I say that I get completely depressed when I watch the evening news.


I generally end up viewing about five minutes before flipping it to a rerun of Friends because I just can’t take it. Aside from all the heartbreaking and devastating natural disasters that continue to plague so many areas of the country (and world), what I want to know is, why are there so many human-induced tragedies everywhere you turn? And really, really young humans?

It seems like every day there’s a new shooting, stabbing, or equally upsetting instance in a nearby area for our viewing “pleasure.” It saddens me. What is the cause? Especially when it comes to younger people (high school and even earlier) I just don’t understand the reason for such violence period, and at the rate that it happens.

This is something that comes up a lot in my college courses. Most students immediately say that the parents are to blame, that the lack of love and instilling of morals results in acting out and sometimes destructive, even deadly consequences. I don’t completely disagree with this assessment ... although Oprah had a rough childhood and she managed not to kill anyone and also came away with a pretty decent living.

I think psychology definitely plays a role here, as it is often the case that individuals who commit heinous crimes have what we call “a history of violence” and are possibly afflicted with a number of psychological disorders. Add that to some possible bad parenting, and the combination can be enough to result in some macabre crime scenes.

I don’t think the answer is simple. Each case must be examined individually. Some kids resort to violence in self-defense because they were being bullied. While it’s not legally right, I can’t always say that I blame them for wanting to defend themselves. It’s the length that they go to sometimes that is troublesome. I know I had a near-perfect childhood with plenty of food, clothes, and anything else material that I ever wanted or needed, not to mention unconditional love, and I’m not completely delusional or naive to the point that I don’t realize not everyone is that fortunate. I can’t say what I would do if I were being bullied and/or had no parental support or guidance. I just know that it’s tragic to hear about another case of gun or knife violence every other night – especially when they’re kids. Someday, maybe, I’ll be able to get through the news without seeing what Ross and Rachel are up to.

Sara Berelsman lives in Delphos with her husband and their two daughters. She teaches college English and psychology courses and also loves Seinfeld reruns.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:13 PM

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