Thursday, December 13, 2007

We Suck Young Blood

Albert FishIt's funny how life can work sometimes. I've been struggling to come up with something to say for awhile. It's not so much that I have nothing to talk about, but more like my mind has been a bit clouded and unable to arrange all these letters the way I'd like. It's a common issue with me and one that I rambled about pointlessly on my personal blog. But regardless, I have slowly been clawing my way from the funk which has so completely ensconced my brain as of late. Myriad topics have infiltrated my mind and it has taken everything I have just to keep pace with it all. But that's all neither here nor there.

Since successfully ridding myself of my lifelong nicotine addiction, I have been trying to slowly incorporate a few healthy habits into my life. Not too quickly, mind you. I don't want to shock the system. ;) Anyways, one of these habits is power walking with my sister a few nights a week. There's a local mall that's a circular design and just happens to be about a mile around on foot. So we make our way up there and walk it three to four times, striving for the best time we can achieve. Tonight we were making very good time. (10 minute laps!)

As we were doing our third lap, I noticed a little girl who couldn't have been more than seven years old walking to our left. I primarily noticed her because she kept looking over at me with a rather sad expression in her eye. I took a quick mental note of myself. No offensive t-shirts on tonight, tattoos completely covered. Truly, I had no idea what was catching her eye. After about the fifth look she cast at me, I flashed her a quick smile. No sooner had I done this than she started to cry. As she was walking the mall alone we couldn't help but stop to see what the problem was.

After my sister snapped into maternal mode and asked the girl what was wrong, we discovered that she had lost her parents. She was wandering the mall looking quite terrified and really had no idea where they could be. We tried to find out what store she had lost them at, but we really couldn't understand what she was telling us. So my sister took her hand and we made our way to find either the store or someone capable of paging her parents.

Amazingly enough, the little girl seemed to have a pretty keen memory as to what her parents were wearing, and the reassuring touch from my sister seemed to calm her. We had her with us for about 5 minutes before she saw her father. She took off running and we watched until she made it to him. We then smiled and waved and continued our walk.

It really kind of bothered me at the time, to be honest. I'm a decently nice guy and I actually do have a little bit of a heart, even if I do tend to hide it. But the fact is that I'm a bit of a softy when it comes to little ones. That poor little girl was terrified and reached out for help. But as an adult male in the 21st century, I'll be damned if I can offer it. All I could think as we were escorting this girl is that I can't hold her hand. I can't give her a reassuring hug. I can't touch her in any conceivable way. If I do, I can rest assured that a lawsuit is headed my way.

This country is so helplessly terrified of its own shadow that it has become inconceivable that a grown man could actually just CARE about the well being of another. It's beyond the realm of feasibility that I cannot stand to see a child crying or that I just want to help them find their parents. Nope, I MUST be Ian Brady and my sister is Myra Hindley.

Pardon my French, but at times I just want to scream at this country, "Va te faire foutre!" When I was a kid, every single adult wasn't out to kidnap, torture and rape me, only to discard my dessicated corpse in an abandoned field. In fact, when I was a child we were told that if we got lost the first thing we should do is "Find an adult". Kids today must just look at the adult world as nothing but snarling perverts and deviants.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the parents of today the kids of yesterday? Seriously, if we didn't spend our entire childhood in fear of the gnashing teeth and sharpened blades of the adult populous, why do we feel the need to inflict this fear on our offspring? It's rational and natural to worry about your children's welfare, but it's easy to reach a point where your concern becomes self serving and ultimately damaging to the childrens' psyche. Is it necessary to terrify them with nonstop tales of horror? Yes, there ARE bad people out there. Yes, bad things DO happen. But not every day and not to every kid. Teach them common sense. Don't get in the rusty van with the stranger offering candy is a good lesson. Don't ask anybody in a crowded mall for help when you're terrified? Not quite as useful in my book.

I'm glad we were able to help that kid, and I'm glad that it's still somewhat socially acceptable for my sister to offer comfort, but truth be told the system is broken and somebody needs to fix it. At least, that's how I see it.

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4 comments:

Tony said...

E., I fully agree with you. A very moving piece you've posted. Thank you for sharing with us on this. I have found myself in similar situations many times.

E said...

It really is a shame that we've grown to be so frightened of our shadows. Children should not have to be so afraid of those that are supposed to protect them.

OMYWORD! said...

E! (That's not the show. It's you. Oh hell. Never mind.): I am so glad to see you are back, since I got really LOST and NEEDED YOU to bring me back here. (Even though Tony has been kindly nudging me for a while now.)

And your story reminded me of one of my friends who went back to school to get his teaching cert and his first job teaching, the kids (little 4-5 year olds) fell in love with him, which I knew they would. One day, when he walked into his classroom, one of the little girls saw him and yelled "Mr. B!" and ran towards him with her arms extended. He panicked. He realized she was going to jump into his arms or wrap her arms around his legs and hug him. He didn't have much time to react, so he put his hand out to stop her, and knocked her right over...backwards! Down she went. He was horrified. She was ok, but just imagine how that felt for her, and for him. He's this hilarious, loving midwestern guy and he can't be loving towards those kids. It's really too bad.

OK - I think I better write something tomorrow on the Bonez blog. We all need to shtick together.

Congrats on the non-smoking!

E said...

As always, thank you for the kind omywords! :) Unfortunately for Bonez, I have a lot of bilge to spew in the next few weeks. I think I'm quite rested up after my absence. Perhaps you and I can take this place over again. >:)

That's terrible for your friend, but I fully understand the situation. The encounter at the mall wasn't the first time I've dealt with this. It really is a shame that kindness is a trait that's considered rare in this day and age, though I suspect it's nowhere near as rare as we like to pretend.

I hope things have been going well for you. I've heard you've been quite busy. :)

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