Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pray for the Children

I really didn't want to end my blogging break just yet, but I had to. Sometimes the news demands it.

This linked story is heartbreaking. It would be awful enough at any time of the year, but it's even more heartbreaking at Christmas.

As you'll see from the story, this young man was only 13 and out getting drunk, apparently upset over a girl. Young Jordan was also a fan of Slipknot, an American heavy metal band. He was wearing a hoodie with the group's name, and a reference to "no hope" on the back.

Many years ago when I was still in secular radio, I worked with a man whose 12-year-old son had to be hospitalized after a suicide attempt. I had met the boy at the radio station, and he was unusually street-wise for his age. He also had a very dark outlook on life for one so young. As most with most kids, he liked rock music. But in his case, we're not talking about the more innocuous kind. With him, the more dark, hopeless and nihilistic, the better.

I told his father that he needed to take authority over his child and get that garbage out of the house. A child who already has psychological struggles doesn't need to be taking lyrics filled with hate, rage, darkness, hopelessness and futility of life into his spirit. This was more than 20 years ago, and I have no idea what has happened since with the young man or his father.

Seeing this tragic story out of England brought the memory back to me, along with the sadness and anger I feel whenever I see stories like this . . . when someone so young comes to a tragic end. I don't know if this was an accident, a murder or a suicide. It's too early to tell. But it's obvious something is wrong when a 13-year-old is out getting drunk and ends up dead in a river.

Did the Slipknot music have anything to do with it? I can't say for certain. But nihilism and hopelessness is deadly. It's deadly to adults for sure, but especially deadly in the mind, heart and spirit of a young child who still has a lot of maturing and learning to do about life.

Parents, wake up to what your children are doing, and to what they're listening. And remember. You have the authority in the home. Exercise it.


Lady cricketlover said...

This is very sad indeed, I knew this boy until he was 11 and also know the area of the river well, that day it was absolutely treacherous with ice and snow, I walked it with my own 13 year old and made her walk holding the fencing. She was not under the influence of alcohol or anything else unnatural for a child of that age and we were unnerved, sadly I cannot help but wonder if this played a part in his ability to be sure footed. Speculation I know but when children are that age drinking alcohol in a park there is something lacking, what that is I am not sure but unless somebody attempts to work it out more children will end up without a future of any merit. I am sure all our thoughts are with his mother and her inevitable 'what if' thoughts.

Solameanie said...

Indeed, and thanks for your thoughts. The pain of the mother, family and true friends must be nearly, if not, inconsolable. I know also that it's not just the U.K with problems like this. We have plenty of it here in the States as well.