Thursday, May 9, 2019

Times aren't what they used to be in an age of school shootings

I don't typically write about current events in this blog but it seems appropriate. These past few weeks (and years) we have seen an upward trend of domestic and international violence in schools and religious institutions.

Particularly concerning to me in our world is the violence that is happening in our schools. All the way from elementary to college.

The other day as people were leaving church an older woman said to me, "things aren't what they used to be... we didn't have school shootings when we were growing up." Of course, this is as people are walking out the door and I had to eat the comment and leave.

And then later in the week, I was eating with some folks who are my parent's age who I felt were blaming the millennial generation for the issues that have been plaguing society. They used phrases like, "They don't raise them like they used to..."

Or during a recent sermon, I commented on how we are more connected than ever and we are also more lonely than ever. And I heard someone say, "technology." Yes, I can hear really well while I am preaching... I guess they were talking about how technology is to be at fault for our loneliness.

These comments have stayed with me especially in light of these recent weeks of violence in schools.

It has also made me think differently as a parent of two children. My parents (I don't think) sent me to school thinking that there was a good chance that someone would come in with a gun and shootout the school. I think they were fairly secure in thinking I would come home.

I remember hugging my dad as he would leave to go for months overseas for the military. I had a similar feeling and wondering if he would make it home. And now we hug our kids with a sense of awareness that this could be the day that a gunman comes to their school.

Parents now live in a scary world where security is questioned.

But here is the scarier part... is that kids know this. In these last few instances of school shooters kids have lunged at someone with a gun. And they have given their lives to save others. This is what soldiers, police offers, and firemen do... and now our kids do this. 

I was saddened this morning to see a sixth grader who recently survived a school shooting say that he is glad it is over with. And yes it is over with. The event. But his life is forever changed. Forever.

I guess if I could respond to all those people with their blowing criticism of today's generation... I would say be grateful and pray for the kids growing up. Today's generation isn't like your generation. In fact, their reality is a lot scarier than yours. Maybe instead of being critical about the generation that is growing up right now in our age... support them... love them... care for them... have hope in their future (you know they need that hope more than ever).

And also remember platitudes such as "things aren't what they used to be" doesn't change the world or make the world a better place. It is all of our responsibility to support families and children (not just our own). And to offer more than our critiques to the current rising generation but to offer them our support and our belief that their future will be better.