I really think that had I had my head on straight when I was younger, I could have and maybe should have pursued employment in law enforcement or some affiliated profession. Instead, I dropped out of college, worked a bunch of dead end jobs and kind of just winged it while feeling "irie" as the cool kids used to say. But alas, that's another story for another day.
My interest in prison life, the judicial system and forensics is practically a pastime for me. I love true crime novels, watching the National Geographic Lockdown specials and reading the msnbc Crime & Courts section. It might have something to do with how terrified I was to break the rules growing up. Sure, I dabbled in some experimental drug use and the like in high school like most of my friends and peers, but I almost never broke curfew and tried my damnedest to stay out of trouble with my parents. The idea of me breaking the law to the point of arrest or jail time was simply unheard of. Simply put, I am fascinated by what drives people to do the things they do.
Lately, there has been a disturbing trend that involves teenage violence and sexual activity. Maybe because I'm about to be a mother I find these stories both appalling and terrifying. Will my daughter be the one to decide that it's ok to sell herself for group sex at a party? Will my son be the one that thinks it's perfectly acceptable to kick the ever living shit out of his girlfriend over a text message? And the biggest question is always "Where the hell are the parents!?!" I simply can't fathom the trouble kids get into at what seems to be younger and younger ages.
As is only natural, I often wonder who or what is to blame. Parents can only do so much right? It's human nature for a teen or a child to rebel. What is it that pushes them over the edge though? Is it the hours spent playing violent video games that numbs a child to the reality of violence? Is it the faceless communication the internet and text messaging allows that has robbed us of real interpersonal relationships? Is it the incessant tabloid television and print coverage of sexual scandals that have robbed society of its moral fiber?
Of course, there is no easy answer. One could say "Look to religion" and the retort could easily bounce right back to the sexual abuse the Catholic church has been accused of more often than not lately. Growing up I hardly knew a friend with divorced parents and now it seems to be the norm. Where is the discipline? Has the importance of stressing self esteem robbed generations of the ideas of responsibility, accountability and liability? I'm ranting now. I guess sometimes I just shudder at the thought of what kind of world I'm bringing a child into and can't help but wonder if the worst is yet to come.