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I had to think long and hard before deciding if I was going to write this. It hits close to home and no part of me wants to give the family concerned any more pain than they already have to face. However, the gossip mill has already begun its steady churn because around here, time passes slowly and the motivation level isn't exactly excessive, so people find their entertainment in simple places.

Two young men have learned that they will spend at least the nest 12 years in prison. Yes, they robbed a CVS. Yes, they held women there and yes, they hit a police car on the way out. And out of those facts will come rumors and critiques so vicious that any light that ever shown from these boys will be extinguished. The suffering of their families will be drawn out not only because 12 years is a long time to a small child without a father, but because the gossip mill never really sleeps.

Now, I'm not of the opinion that what these boys did was right, but I AM of the opinion that they were led to the point they arrived at, not by direct instruction, but by the everyday in your face messages that they received.

These boys are men, but they were young enough for me to view them as boys, though a large part of me always kept y distance from them. They were on a bad road, one that I came close to myself and nothing on God's green Earth was going to make me go back to.

Like me, they lost their mother at a young age. Does this excuse their behaviors? Certainly not. But, I'll tell you from experience that life without a mother is life minus a few points on the moral compass. Further, if your resources are limited and you find a route that will ease the dull ache of life, you just might take it and yes, you are more inclined to do so when there is no mother whose eyes you'll have to look into.

Society bears some of the responsibility for what happened. It was a pharmacy. Loads of pills were taken. Where do you suppose the boys ever got the idea that a pill could solve everything? How do you suppose an addiction like that develops? We created that. You can't drive down the road, walk in a house or turn on a television without some kind of pill being in your face. And the idea that synthetic heroine would ever be a good thing...well whoever came up with that needs to serve all of the sentences of boys like this combined.

The fact is, we're lucky that these boys had the family they do and that can be seen not by their actions, but by the things that didn't happen.

They robbed a pharmacy. A pharmacy, not a bank. I don't know about you, but there's only one reason I go to a pharmacy. This factor alone screams addiction.

There were women present and the boys had weapons. Yet, there was no rape, no sexual assault of any kind. The motivating factor here was not to do harm, but to feed the beast of addiction and to gain some limited means for survival.

I knew these boys. I knew they were addicts and I avoided them for that reason. Because, if you don't know it, there is nothing that will stand in the way of an addict and their fix. Very little even matters aside from that.

And yet, never once did these boys see me trying to perform a task and not offer their help. No matter what I was doing, they took the time out of their own day to assist me, without ever being asked. I have "friends" who don't even do that.

So before you get on your gossip role, take a moment to see who the boys were, not the addiction that took over their lives. And if you want to be angry, don't look to the family who bears the suffering. Look to the society that judged without asking and provided the means of destruction that these boys found so readily available.



5 comments:

  1. Nice sentiments and I do have sympathy for the "boys." However, this sounds like the same ole' "It takes a village..." nonsense that we have heard for years. The problem is there is no utopian society where we can all have the preferred upbringing that will cause us to be upstanding citizens. Everyone has trouble and the consequences of poor choices that we have to overcome. If we want to a better society (We will never have a perfect one.), we must teach personal responsibility and perseverance to overcome the "bad hand" we each have been dealt. The "dull ache" of which you speak is because of limited spiritual resources, not material ones. Twelve years in prison should correct what they failed to learn as children. Sadly it will not and they will probably come out worse than they are going in. I know this is not the energy you were looking for, but it is not positive to excuse and justify bad behavior.

  1. Thank you for your comments. You're quite right, there is no "excuse", but perhaps if we stopped tossing people pills and treated them as if they were as worthy as anyone else, we might see some changes in society.

  1. About 10 years ago a traffic accident with a fatality occurred in front of my home on a quiet country road. The driver, a 19 year old young man was drunk and lost control of the car. The 2 female passengers in the back of the car were ejected through the rear window. One struck a tree with her head and died on the spot, leaving behind 3 children under the age of 5. While the driver sat in the back seat of the sherriff's car, his mother pulled up and started crying saying how she was going to get him out of there. They tried to convince police the other young man, also drunk, was driving. While he was out on bail, we saw him drinking with friends just 2 days after the accident and he laughed, saying, "Well, I haven't killed anyone today." That young man had a mother and still had no moral compass. The moral compass lies within us as individuals. I don't mean to slight your loss or that of those boys but I have to agree that we are each responsible for the choices we make, good and bad.

  1. Thanks Theresa. It's not actually my loss and I do think they need to pay a penalty. I'm ore upset for the family than anything and for the kids who do slip through the cracks.
    I have to disagree about the moral compass thing though. We do what we think is right or wrong based on what we're taught, though there are time when we ignore our teachings.

    I do feel bad for these boys, for the life they lived that led them here, but I don't think them innocent lambs. I'm simply stating that society has a role to play that more often then not, goes ignored.

  1. I would agree, Kathy. I think what we are taught or even teach ourselves by observing play a huge role in our moral compass. Unfortunately, with drug abuse or pill addiction, it just takes a few or even one time of ignoring it that throws too many lives off-kilter.

    Just because they should be held accountable doesn't mean there isn't a root problem beyond them themselves that should be tackled. There is.

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