The Value of Life

As many people are still seeking answers about the Avenues Mall murder, fingers are also being pointed in every direction.

Some are blaming the mall for lack of security, others feel the police are at fault for not maintaining a presence. Then some feel more parking would solve the problem, or perhaps even more malls (seriously?). Some have even resorted to blaming the victim himself, stating he must have done something to prompt this. Glad that person isn’t a Judge in a rape case; “What was she wearing?”

What this really boils down to is the murderer and what was going through his mind at the time. Numerous factors play a role in such an incident. Though it’s easy to blame a country, a culture, or even a religion, it’s just not reality. These types of heinous crimes take place around the world… every day. Because there’s little evidence to support someone is ‘born a killer’, then past incidents in one’s life must play a significant role. Who we are today is a result of what we experienced yesterday.

The answer does not rest in posting gruesome photos all over the internet or pointing fingers at outside sources. The answer lies in the hands of every parent around the world.

What was the home life like for this murderer? Did he grow up playing video games and watching movies where death was a common theme? Was he abused by a family member? Did he take that aggression out on others? Did he participate in the killing of animals every holiday where he witnessed a living being breathe its dying breath? What exactly happened to this child during his life to remove that instinctual feeling of empathy and sympathy towards others? And who, if anyone, tried to intervene?

I’m not saying turning off the television and taking video games away from children will prevent these types of incidents in the future. Nor is there any evidence violence on a television screen breeds violence in our youth. But there is evidence abuse breeds abuse. A pattern is set and often followed for generations to come. Yet every child is different, and every parent has a responsibility to know their children, to see signs, and to act on their instincts.

You want to raise a leader? Be one. You want to raise a kind, loving, compassionate human being? Be one. You want to raise a productive part of society? Be one.

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.