What does the person who has just experienced a tragedy of unimaginable evil such as what happened recently in Florida do immediately after hearing the news? When your son/daughter left that morning with the books and homework in the backpack, you reminded him/her to pay attention, and . . . . “I love you . . . . see you later”.
A friend calls. You tune into breaking news. You drive to the school. You’re holding your breath. You want to see him/her running to you. You couldn’t imagine the horror, but now you see it. Police everywhere. Sirens blazing. Students running. Yellow tapes. Helicopters hovering. Cameras and reporters. Parents wanting to know.
Sorry. Your son/daughter was killed.
Weep. Cry till the eyes dry. Weep some more. Pray. Grab a pillow and weep. Do not disturb me? I want some answers God. Why? Why? That was a good school. Why here? Peacefully attending school as he/she had done 5 days a week for the last 12 years. Why? Why Mine? Why would someone do such a thing? Why? Oh God I need your help. Weep some more. And now you must make decisions. Arrangements. Casket. Grave site. Funeral Service. Family time. Time alone. Weep again. More decisions. More arrangements. Try to keep a stiff upper lip holding back the tears as friends and relatives come by expressing their sorrow.
When the week passes, the loss returns in the morning as the school bell rings, every evening as expectations of their return from school you weep some more. Every evening sitting at the dinner table trying to keep the conversations on the light side. I should have told him/her I love you more often. I never should have done that. Oh, why did I ever say such and such? I should have been a better mother/father. I should have bought that for him/her. We should have gone on that vacation.
Why? Oh God, if you’re real, why did you let this happen? Why?
An answer came: “I’ve been kicked out of schools.”
Author: Arnold R. Kropp
About Mr. Arnold.
Back in the days when I was a kid growing up in south Chicago, freely roaming around the neighborhood was common, and just a part of life in the late '40s and early '50s. A train track was less than a mile away and a favorite place to walk along the rails. A large city park was a bit closer with areas of dense trees and areas of open grassy picnic grounds. A public golf course was just two blocks away, but the famed 4-lane busy Western avenue had to be crossed to get to it, and we crossed in the middle of the block running between the cars and trucks. We knew the risks. In the winters, we would climb that fence making our way to one of the ponds, we’d push and shovel away the snow and play a spontaneous game of hockey, or bring a sled and slide down the hillside ; no adults, no special padding, just a group of kids enjoying the contest.
Dad was at work. Mom was home tending to the laundry and preparing the family meal for promptly at 6 pm. Life was good. It was fun. Sunday mornings were dress up in suit and tie, polished shoes for Sunday school and the worship service, then to a restaurant.
Arnold went on to college immediately after high school, but could not find a subject, a major that was really up his alley, so he enlisted in the Army and served in Germany during the years the Berlin wall was built. Seeing what effects Soviet communism had on the people of East Germany left an impression on him. During those years, he would write many long letters home starting a desire to write more than just letters. Many years later Arnold developed a blog where he posted hundreds of articles on the political side of American life. Some of those are available in the collection named "Ramblings".
Today, Society is totally different from that of the '50s, a whole lot different.
Today, it has become scary to let the kids roam. Today it has become organized to the hilt with 2nd graders playing organized football. In my present relatively quiet neighborhood, I do see kids walking the streets, but there is a difference as the kids seem to be apprehensive and on guard or intently operating a telephone as they walk, not running after each other playing hide and seek.
Today, the above freedoms of the '50s are suspect and avoided as being dangerous activities. And that is sad. It's sad that today's kids do not have that freedom, and it may be having a direct effect on their development. Consider, one fact that is readily apparent today compared to yesterday; the preponderance of overweight and obese kids, even pre-school kids are heavier than we were, and this has to be affecting the rest of their daily lives. No doubt about it. But, I'd better hush, can't talk about those things.
Yes, in the '50s there were Semi-trucks, public transportation, murders, rape, robberies, house fires, sickness and diseases resulting in death, and yes, there were deadly vehicle accidents too. There was even poverty and homosexuals too. We went to public schools, and the high school was integrated. This was Chicago, but those events did not make the headlines, as news was only broadcast at 6pm and possibly 10pm nightcap. Days of the cold war kept us together as a nation. We saw the "Victory at Sea" war clips before the main feature at the theaters.
And now technology dominates life. A cell phone in every handy pocket posting selfies. A computer saving everything to one of those cumulous clouds. Room size TV’s broadcasting everything 24/7.
This is more information than I want.
Let me decide something.
I think. therefore, I am.
I was born a male, therefore I am.
I was born-again, therefore I am.
I have life within, therefore I am.
The news is not my guide.
The TV is not my Sheppard.
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