A Teen's View on Littleton

Michael Shell BrightCrow at InfoAve.Net
Sun May 2 13:54:07 JEST 1999

Dear Friends,

I don't remember whether or not I've shared the following with you.  It's
from one of the members of my listserv, writing about her son.  This story
gives me hope.

Blessed Be,

Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 13:27:32 EDT

It's been wonder-full and awe-full hearing what my sixteen year old son and
 his friends have to say about the Littleton tragedy.  To give you an idea
of  where he's coming from, I would classify Adam as an "outsider", but
that's  where he wants to be.  He watched his beautiful older sister go
through high  school being a scholar, athlete, and member of the "in"
crowd, and he was not  impressed.  He prefers long-term friendship over
popularity, comfort over  style, & working smart over working hard.  He's a
caring and sensitive guy  who is slow to anger, thinks first and only talks
when he has something to  say.  He has a twisted sense of humor, expressed
through droll short stories  and absurd cartoons.

When he started hearing commentary blaming video games and movies for the
recent teen-age insanity, "dem's were fightin words!"  He's never ever
understood how a person could confuse games or movies with reality (unless
they suffer from a psychosis or were simply lying to avoid responsibility.)
  He understands that in this age of fast food meals and television
sit-coms  where everything is happily resolved in a half-hour, our society
likes to tie  up it's loose ends in a hurry, put an easy-to-understand
label on it all, and  especially find someone or something to blame.  He
says that in the past,  when the labels were things he had no experience
with...things like drugs,  poverty, abuse, or divorce...he was willing to
accept it.  Now he says the  biggest lesson he has learned from all this is
that in the future he will be  more critical in his thinking.

He has also questioned why we don't hear a similar outcry of grief and
protest over the innocents slaughtered by NATO bombs.  He agrees with the
military action (so far) as a necessary evil, but feels the lack of
compassion by our society for those "not our own."  

He also knows that in a year and a half he will have to register for the
draft which could be reinstated at any time.  He wonders if our society is
naive to be shocked by teen-age violence, yet expect that all it's healthy
eighteen-year-old men will be able to kill other human beings when and if
the  government orders them to do so. 

I just listen and shake my poor old head.


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