Back in the 60's John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song "All You Need Is Love." Love, where has it gone? No doubt there was strife and challenges in the 60’s, not unlike today, but was it so nuts that race against race were killing one another in the streets and young people were gabbing hold of guns to prove just how nuts they are?.
One in four females (25 percent) and two in 25 male respondents (eight percent) reported being raped and/or physically assaulted by a date some time in their life. One-and-a-half percent of women and 0.9 percent of men said they were raped and/or physically assaulted by such a partner in the last year. According to the survey, this translates into 1.5 million women and 834,700 men who are raped and/or physically assaulted annually. Reference: COC National Statistics http://www.campusoutreachservices.com/resources/nvaws.htm .
Teenage and young-adult violence is a growing epidemic. Both suicide and homicide in the adolescent age group (13 to 21 years old) have risen dramatically in the past twenty years. Suicidal and homicidal behaviors are closely linked in epidemiological studies, and, together, are just the tip of growing iceberg of adolescent discontent and anger. We are now seeing more and more depression in younger and younger people. The depression of the "baby boom" generation was manifested at a later age than we are now seeing, and has, in no small part, contributed to a depressed and angry societal structure into which children are born. Source: http://goertzel.org/dynapsyc/1998/TeenageViolence.html
Virginia Tech massive and truly unfortunate attack is just one more example of a race of people gone nuts. We are faced with such devastation and we sit back and ask why, and how. Where have we gone wrong as a nation? There are so many questions and not just one right answer, but this insanity seems to be pervasive through out the USA and abroad.
While working on-line at the library here in my home town of eight thousand people (Ojai CA), there was a young man sitting next to me watching a music video which depicted several young men of a specific cultural background beating young girls, spitting on them, and, apparently, burning them with cigarettes. The young man was smiling and laughing quietly to himself, and I asked him if he found that scene entertaining. He replied "it was all just in fun!" "That is what you call fun," I asked.
Where is the fun or the love in that scene, and where have we as adults failed our children? Can we, as a culture, reverse the tide of what has gone so wrong? No doubt all Americans can agree on one thing, a change has got to come.
Please understand that I am no Pollyanna. I know the world is full of hurt, and social change has to come about in more places than one, but a change has got to come. We have to start somewhere. What better place to start than with the young people, for their future and the future of the planet?
Here are just a few more examples of a declining attitude and lack of respect for human life, not just female life but all humans.
Rosy—a young woman who has worked for me on and off over the past three years, doing general office work, and quiet well—in the past. She became a gang member recently, or as she refers to herself, a “club member”. I had a short visit with Rosy just the other day after seeing the short film on the net, and I mentioned it to her. She laughed and said "Hell ya man, I have burns all over my body—but it was all just in fun
," she said.
I asked her, "Rosy, how can you allow this sort of thing to happen to you?" She replied that was nothing; the thing she disliked most is that "they", the male club members, “rape her and kick the crap out of her”. "Oh my goodness, Rosy, did you report them?" I asked. She laughed and said "Hell no." "Oh my goodness," I replied and walked away in amazement.
What does debasing a young girl joining a "club" have to do with love and sisterhood and make one want to enter into such a group? I could only reflect on the sixties, the music, and the summer of Love in San Francisco and asked myself "Where have we gone wrong?"
Also in my hometown, just recently, I was relaxing one day in our local park right in the heart of downtown. A rather displeased, frazzled man came and sat next to me on the park bench and started to rage. His complaint was "these damn kids they just don't have any respect anymore". "No," I replied, "What seems to be the problem?" "Damn, I was just walking out of the coffee shop just a block up the street, and these two boys came racing through on their skateboards and knocked my coffee right out of my hand. They screamed in laughter and skated off. I went back into the coffee shop and told the young lady behind the counter what had just happened and asked if she could refill my cup. She said, 'Ya,' and then asked for another $2.25. I mentioned that I told her what had just happened. She replied, "ya and you should be more careful."
He continued to rant and rave about these damn kids, who are so full of rage and hate. He told me he had just moved back to the area from Reno, NV to attend to a family member’s young son who had just been shot in his car a few weeks ago, not but two blocks from where we were sitting having our coffee.
"Dang," he said, "the boy got mixed up with the wrong crowd, and one thing led to another, and he had a debt to one of the boys and was shot over $50.00 deal that had gone bad." "Fifty dollars is that what human life is worth today," I asked. He replied, "hell, that ain't nothing. I once saw a man killed in an ice cream shop up in Reno over $3.00 change."
I remarked to him that it seems to me that things are getting just a bit out of hand and really stating to go nuts. "Yes," he replied, "and it all starts in the home, with the family. God damn it, we gotta teach these kids a lesson." He continued to rage on. As I sat there hearing him, I said to myself—"who needs the lesson here?"
I relayed a story to him of an incident that happened a few months back at one of the high schools in a neighboring town (Ventura CA). It was after school hours, and one of the teachers was still in her classroom grading papers and was about to leave. She closed up her room and walked out in front of her room. There were several boys skate-boarding though the campus halls and came dangerously close to knocking her down. She yelled out to the boys that the school was closed and they were not supposed to do that. One of the boys skated back to her and beat her with his skateboard, which actually left her with several cuts and bruises. He called her every name in the book of foul language, spit on her, and skated off. "Where have things gone so wrong?" I asked him. "Education," he replied! "Well, you know, you might have something there," I said to him. "I stopped one of our local police last summer and informed him of a conversation I overheard by three young boys who were standing not far from where you and I are sitting right now. One of the boys asked the others "if they were planning on coming to the meeting tonight". He said to them, "this town is going to hell and it was time," and I quote, "time to get rid of these niggers, spics and Jews that are starting to over take our town." The boys had obvious shaved heads and racist tattoos and spoke strongly of hate for people that were not like them. I was concerned that these young men could create rather ugly violence here one day in what in normally a very peaceful small town. The man in the brown shirt (the cop) replied, "oh hell. These kids are no danger. We have known about them for years." He said, "they are nothing to worry about, so why don't you just mind your own business?”
"What is going on when local law enforcement is not concerned with possible violence against its own people?" I asked the man. "Religion, everybody needs to go back to the Church," he replied!" "Yes, perhaps," I replied, "but, it seems to me that it's deeper than that, my friend. I think you hit it on the head when you said family. Yes, re-education through or with the family. Yes, you hit it on the head." "Love, respect, non-violence—it starts with the family doesn't it," I asked.
Our teachers are not responsible; their job is to teach. Our preachers are not responsible; their bob is to pass on the word of God.
"Where has the Love gone," I asked him. "Has it gone to MTV? To computer games? To Sporting events? To shooting at high schoolers as a means of crying out 'here I am'?"
Where has the Love gone when music videos teach so much violence? Where has the Love gone when a screaming dad, drinking beer at a high school sport event, yells "kick the crap out of 'em, boys"? Where has the Love gone when brother is killing brother in the name of turf? Can reeducation of parents for their children's benefit happen? What role does the teaching of religious principles play in teaching Love and not hate as the answer? Where has the love gone when parents yell obscene foul language at their neighbor’s right in from of their children—what kind of education is that? John Lennon and Paul McCartney asked that we might look deeply into our hearts and find love. Here it is 2007 and I ask can we do it—can we rise up as a race of Homosapians and find love in our hearts—for not just Americans who have been saved but for all peoples every where?
There is a global peace movement currently in the process:
Should it include peace in our neighborhoods, as well as abroad?
Just interesting questions, and I pose them to you, Mr. and Mrs. America? Where Has The Love Gone?
No, I am not a Pollyanna. I know the world is so full of hurt and social change has to come or we may be doomed after-all. We collectively do have the answers and the solutions are right at hand. "All You Need Is Love.". What better place to start then with the young people for their future and the future of the planet?
Jay North works as a full time writer and has been involved in the healing arts for over thirty years his books and article can be found at www.SpiritHealing.net
Permission--released for free publication
Jay North 18/Apr/2007