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.