A few disturbing things have happened in the last day or so. The first thing, and it is a minor one, is that my daughter smuggled bubble gum in with the groceries (she hid from me on the conveyor belt so that I didn't see it, but still paid for it). She has been asking for that gum, and I keep telling her 'no.' She knew I would say no and deliberately schemed, successfully so, to get the gum. At least she was honest enough to know that we had to pay for it, and is not dishonest enough to steal it. She figured, however, that I still would not let her have it, and has suggested that we give it to Papa. For the record, Sophia gets gum whenever she rides with Papa, which is at least three days a week when he picks her up. She is cunning enough to realize that giving the gum to Papa is really giving the gum to herself, thereby creating a loop-hole in the punishment I have deemed fitting. She is a born politician. I'm standing strong and not letting her have the gum. She has to know that that kind of deceptive and devious behavior will not be tolerated in this house.
The second disturbing thing, and this is the big one, is that my friend's children were almost abducted. Right from their front yard. In a nice, quiet suburban neighborhood. The two children, who are the same ages as my kids, were out front playing when a man in a white Toyota Camry approached them and told them to get into the car. Luckily, the eight year-old had the wherewithal to high tail it into the house with his sister, and tell their mother, who was able to call the police. Details of the event can be found here.
This is frightening on so many levels. This is a nice neighborhood. These are good kids. My children play there. In fact, Sophia goes to a babysitter just a few houses away. This is not the crappy,crime-riddled inner city neighborhoods where I spend my days, armed with a tiny little vial of pepper spray that my dad bought me. This is where we all want to live. Where everyone knows the neighbors and kids are outside playing, riding bikes and being kids. It is the neighborhood of the American dream.
(The third scary thing about this whole incident is that I was interviewed for WTEN about the incident. While I'm sure I will cringe at hearing myself on camera, my most cringe-worthy moment will be when I decided that today would be a FINE day to go without make-up. YIKES!)
But back to the precipitating event. I have to ask...what the hell is going on with society? How can someone think that's is perfectly acceptable to snatch two innocent children from their front yard? I can answer that question, but it will not be popular. We, as a society, have lost our moral compass. Just turn on the news. It's disgusting. We no longer have a grounding foundation of what is right or wrong. We no longer have consequences for our actions, because we don't accept responsibility for our actions. People only barely admit guilt, and that is usually only after they are caught red-handed. Our leaders tell us bold-faced lies (watch Dianne Feinstein in this interview, minute 11:20), and we eat it up. We know they are lying, but no one says anything.
We accept that people who are cruel to animals should be punished, but we don't have the same level of punishment for people who harm other people. There is a woman in the area who killed three other women, mowing them down in a horrific, gruesome manner, because she was driving her car under the influence on seven prescription medications. 6 months in prison, with time already served. Really?!?
We, as a society, need to step up. We need to establish some sort of moral code. We need to stop excusing poor behavior and have some kind of minimum standards. We cannot excuse flagrant disregard for humanity and the law. We need to respect life and honor it, not degrade and disparage it.
Who do we turn to for this? Our government...certainly not. (Just an aside, why is Gen. Pertraeus forced to end his career for adultery when Bill Clinton and Elliot Spitzer, who actually broke the law, have continued on unscathed and revered?) Our clergy...um, no. Our entertainers...just having the ability to sing or get paid to lie, I mean act for a living does not give one the ability to set a moral compass. Case in point, Kevin Clash. Our athletes have proven over and over, not only disregard for each other, but also for money and their spouses (there are just too many examples to list here).
We need to turn to ourselves. To our village. To our community. We need to expect more out of each other. We need to teach our children right from wrong. We need to teach our children respect for elders, themselves and their community. We need to work together to create a safe place for our children to grow up.
Tonight, I am so proud of my son's friend (who is also my friend's son). To me, he is a hero. But I am scared that this nut job is out there. Please, anyone out there reading this...if you know who he is, hold him accountable. Make our village a safe place for our kids to live in.