Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I'm At a Loss
If you would have asked me two months ago what I thought the most important personality trait was to be an effective police officer, I probably would have told you the ability to understand; to understand people, problems and understand how to resolve conflict. But recently since I've been on the street, I've been beating my head against the wall because I don't UNDERSTAND! I don't understand how a large part of our society will glamorize the basest elements of our culture, and then expect anything other than anarchy and unrest. Since when has it become a bragging point that you have been signed by "Ex-Con" records? (Unfortunatly, I am not making this up). Video games promote a lifestyle that if you were to emulate their characters in real life (which many do), you would be pushing up dasies faster than you can say "Snoop-Dog". But it's the lifestyle that I cannot comprehend. You put nothing but garbage in, and expect a rose garden to blossom. Your house gets shot up and you can't seem to understand why. I don't know...could it possibly be because your angel of a son is dealing crack from your house and owes his boy down the block some money? No? Well, maybe it's because he's gotten himself in the middle of a turf war with the dudes from across town? Of course you have no idea how it came to this. I mean, look at the wonderful example that you've set for him. Father? What is that? Work ethic? Sure you work...so you can buy your liquor and crack. Discipline? He gets a time-out...some time out of the house where he furthers his criminal enterprise which leads to your house getting blasted by gunfire. I'm not the crispiest fry in the happy meal, but I see a pattern forming here.
I've been told by many seasoned police officers that this is a mental battle that I would be best to not fight. But I cannot help it. I have to understand. I feel useless to help if I cannot understand. They tell me, "Tim, you'll run yourself stone-cold crazy trying to understand why it is that we have jobs." But shouldn't it be easy to understand how the sounds of gunfire in your backyard should be considered abnormal? If you can't walk down the street without expecting to get "capped" (I had a guy tell me this just the other day), is it such a hard thing to realize that a lifestyle change is in order? I suppose my lifestyle seems just as abnormal to them as theirs does to me but at least I know with a fair degree of certainty that my house is not going to be riddled with bullet holes and I am not going to get "capped" walking down the street.
It's not hard to pinpoint the cause...it's really just a lack of leadership in the home. But what I can't fathom is why a parent would not have the courage to fight and not subject their children to this lifestyle, and also why a young adult would not become a transitional person and turn their back on a lifestyle that perpetuates violence, ignorance, and their ultimate demise.
I'm sorry Fred, I just can't let it go. I may never understand it, but I have to try.