Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Them Angry Kids

"I'm here to take your daughter to the prom."

I saw a couple today, walking, and they made me fear for the future more so than I already do. The girl, was probably 17-20 years old, in high heels, and 7-8 months pregnant. Her husband/boyfriend/baby daddy was walking next to her, with headphones on, rapping and doing Eminem hand air gestures. He was completely ignoring the mother of his child. Not just ignoring her, not even looking toward her. His hand was moving with the beat and coming dangerously close to beating her or her stomach on multiple occasions.

This baby is doomed. I can’t help but think it. If the guy can’t even pay a moment of attention to his baby’s mother, how is he going to pay attention to a child. The child will demand attention by crying, but he just has to slip on those headphones and he’s whisked away to rapper land. In rapper land he’s famous, has twenty cars, all the bling you can ever imagine. Why would you want to leave this?

It’s a fantasy I saw too often teaching in Myrtle Beach. These 15-18 year old guys, some of which already had children, coming back from their weekend pass with gold teeth, writing atrocious lyrics, rhyming a word with itself (like “here” with “here.”) These kids definitely have the life experience, but they don’t have the talent to make it. It breaks your heart knowing that they are going to feverishly live in this dream world until the cruel suffocating embrace of real life forces them into poverty.

I’m reading Barack Obama’s book, “Dreams of My Father.” It gives some insights into the inner city populations of the 60s vs the populations of the 80s. At one point a guy is reminiscing. He shares memories of when their area used to be filled with children playing out in the streets. The men of the neighborhood used to gather at the corner store to share news and gossip. There were picnics and carnivals. He says he doesn’t know what happened, but when he looks at the children now, they look angry, forgotten, neglected. That, he says, is the source of the future problem.

"I am the future!!!"

I couldn’t help but thinking what I saw today was that future problem. I don’t see quite as much anger nowadays, but I see apathy. Apathy can almost be infinitely times more dangerous. At least with anger, you occasionally get someone willing to fight for what they believe in and make a change. Apathy removes a conscience and drive. You’ll steal just enough to get by. If someone gets in your way, shoot them.

Sometimes I feel like Sallie and I not having a child is contributing to the problem. Here you could have a child growing up in a nurturing, hard working, and intelligent family. That child would theoretically grow up with the same values and might just do something to save the world. If nothing else, that child would make the world a better place.

Right now, I don’t think that child should happen. Sallie and I are enjoying mild success and we both feel too many people we know need our nurturing now. We like being able to help and take care of people. Maybe instead of having our own child, someday we’ll adopt one and rescue it from the fate above.

Plus, I’m just too selfish. I like stuff and things.