Just My Two Cents

by Tim Hallman/Editor

It’s Father’s Day. Seems an easy topic for an editorial, yet here I am struggling for words.

Father’s Day; a time of celebration, a time to recognize fathers and all they do. But, on this Father’s Day, I cannot help but think of those fathers who have little to celebrate.

The tragic murder of an area teenager and the emotional devastation brought on many families is still very much on all of our minds.

A young man with a lifetime of potential, gone. What could his father possibly have to celebrate today?

A 15-year-old girl is being tried as adult for first-degree murder in the case. I doubt her father has much to celebrate.

The two men accused of murder; locked behind bars where they’ll likely remain for the rest of their lives. I cannot imagine their fathers are celebrating anything today.

Where am I going with all of this? I actually don’t know.

What I do know is that our community, society and culture is breaking down. What I do know is that more fathers today are detached from their children’s lives more so than ever, and sadly, the same holds true for many mothers.

There was a time when parents’ lives revolved around caring for their children. A time when parents worked hard to provide for their family, worked hard to instill morals and values in their children. Worked hard because they wanted a better future for their children.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of parents who do a wonderful job, but all-in-all, as a whole, I believe our society is letting our children down.

More and more fathers and mothers alike are dumping their children on babysitters for the bar, the club or a party. Homes are riddled with arguing, fighting, alcohol and drugs. Entertainment consists of video games such as Grand Theft Auto, shoot-em-up movies and Facebook.

When we consider these circumstances it’s not hard to see why our youth are having the problems they are. It’s not hard to see how the three accused in Sam Miller’s murder were capable of such a gruesome act.

A broken home, a young mind desensitized to violence – perhaps even conditioned to believe a heinous act such as murder is honorable, coupled with drugs and alcohol, and we have a recipe for disaster.

So then, how do we begin to fix this problem? The answer, while quite simple in theory, is nearly impossible in practice. Nearly impossible, because the solution starts with each and every parent. Impossible because try as we may, we cannot assume total control or power over those parents who are not doing their jobs, and this is exactly where we need to begin in order to fix this problem, and make no mistake, we definitely have a problem.

I’ve read through every comment on CoudyNews in the past week, and there certainly are varying opinions as to who is to blame for these recent tragic events. Some say society is to blame, while other have argued that an individual has the power to overcome their surroundings, and should know right from wrong. While I do agree that many have overcome such obstacles and certainly know how wrong murder is, I sill believe at issue is our society, and what our society sees as acceptable. What we watch on television, the music we listen to, what we read online, in magazines and in newspapers.

I know a mom who drives with her 8-year-old son in the car listening to Eminem, unrated, and loud. Despite my protests, this particular mom sees nothing wrong with playing such music with her child in the car.

What does this tell us about our society? It tells me that parents of this generation have themselves grown up with a limited set of morals and values. A problem that has permeated more than just one generation, a problem that has been building like a snow ball, getting bigger and bigger with each generation.

So then, how do we actually begin to address these problems? There is no easy answer. The solution begins with society, and until we as a whole recognize the severity of this problem and begin to address it as it such, I’m afraid there will be no real solution. If things continue as they are, I expect we’ll see more juveniles on probation, more broken homes and more crimes.

Some have been kicking around the idea of a men’s or father’s group in the local area. Personally, I believe this is a great idea, and possibly the beginning of a greater solution.

I think a similar mother’s group is also in order. I believe it’s time that we, as a community, address this ever-growing epidemic head-on, while we still have a chance.

With that said, I invite anyone interested in beginning such groups to email me directly at tim@coudynews.com.

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