Sunday, October 14, 2007

"SUNDAYS WITH JASON"

Hello again, and welcome to our 11th Sunday together. It seems like yesterday when my big, opinionated mouth blurted out all sorts of rigmarole. How the time flies.

So this week contained a few catastrophes, didn’t it? First, just let me get it out of the way, TRAINS!? I need to get to the bottom of this, I am half tempted to call up one of these idiots who have been struck by a train and just say, “What is you major malfunction?” Because I just can’t seem to get a handle on the reason someone would walk on a train track and not get off it when a train came BLARING behind (or in front) of them. It just don’t make no sense. That’s all.

So congratulations Lorain County for not having the worst story in the news this week. But nevertheless, it’s time to get some insight from Mr. Jason (I almost said Dr. Jason) on this Cleveland School shooting. I have read all that you have been saying and hearing all the information about this tragedy and I felt it was an appropriate time for me to give a little input on it.

Now believe me, I am not into getting “serious” but when it’s needed, it’s needed. Not to mention TMC has been begging me to give up a little background info on myself to our readers. So here we go.

I am not going to pretend that I have any answers to why our youth behave the way we do but if anyone has any clue, it would be me. After all, I was in high school myself, and only 8 years ago. Yeah, I am 26 and although I wish I were a product of the innocent 50’s, not even my mother is. I was brought up in a single mom household, the oldest of three. My mom and dad got divorced when I was in 4th grade but to be honest, he never really lived in our house. We lived in low-income housing, a trailer and numerous apartments, all in Lorain County. We were on welfare and my dead-beat dad found a way to get out of child support. My mother actually forgave him of $20,000 worth, just so that she didn’t have to talk to him and she couldn’t keep getting out of work to go to all the hearings to fight him. I’ve since reconciled, to a degree, with him but I’ll be honest, there was many a time where I wanted to look him up and burn his place to the ground.

I did experience some bullying in the Elyria school system, everyone did, it didn’t help that I only weighed 70 pounds and never really acted like a “man.” How could I? I didn’t really know any. My family is pretty diverse. My mom is white (whatever that means, she’s German, Hungarian, Polish and American Indian) and my dad is as black as a charcoal briquette. So, what does that make me? Well, I never really was asked, I guess that makes me black right? I didn’t really care, but when I was going to a nearly all-white private school, it made me different. The only reason I could go is because my mother worked as a secretary there and I also had friends from church sponsoring me to go. So I was the poorest person there too. In all honesty, I never really felt threatened by anyone. But I had plenty of adversity to overcome in my personal life at home. My dad managed to really get into my head and on my nerves, more than a regular dad because he didn’t understand me. So we had our scuffles and being 6 feet taller than me definitely was an advantage for him.

But here’s my point. I have seen and experienced first hand the same things that these “kids” have. I have always made the decision to take the higher road. But I had a foundation, like it or not I went to a Christian School and grew up in church. There has never been a time where I thought to myself, “I don’t like so and so, I’m gonna kill them.” I was “awarded” 40 detentions my 7th grade year for not doing my homework and although I hated my principal for it I never borrowed my neighbors rifle for a sniper shot on him.

It is all about the foundation in my opinion. I have however, thought of getting even with an adversary and maybe even pulled a few “pranks” on them. But to me, getting even wasn’t about eye for eye or life for life. As a husband and a parent, I’ve often thought about the chance that someone could harm my girls, and I would feel sorry for that person because I WOULD kill them. But, sitting in prison for life would be a fine sentence for good retribution. But, that’s because I have them to live for. When you’re a kid in high school, you’re numero uno. You live for yourself; you don’t own anything worth dying for. But, if you don’t have the self worth instilled in you by your parents or friends or someone, there’s nothing worth fighting for.

My mother and my friends love me, they were the foundation that kept me from being another kid who lashes out and attacks classmates. So, I kept to the higher road. It’s not just my honor on the line, it’s the family and friends that invested their time and hearts into my well being. That is something to live for, something to do good for. Even when people don’t believe in you today, they might tomorrow.

You need to root for your kids, you need to instill in them the sense of worth to go to school, get an education not just for their betterment but because you are there to help them along the way. Too many parents wash their hands clean of their kids and the way they are raising themselves. Only to turn around when they start shooting people and saying, he was a good kid. How do you know? So if you don’t want to defend a killer, don’t raise one. On the flip side, some parents lose control and their kids will do whatever they want, but it’s still your job to be as nosy as possible and make sure you hear what these kids are saying. There are plenty of warning signs before these killers take their plan from action. PAY ATTENTION. At least you’ll have something smarter to say than, “I dunno, he was very angry as a child.”

Well, that’s enough today. It’s Sunday. I am not making excuses; we all have problems and deal with them differently. But I believe if a killer is being raised under your roof, it’s your problem.

See ya,

Jason

5 Comments:

Anonymous john said...

Jason,

Great thoughts. You and I seem to have had very similar childhoods and I think I turned out OK as well. Some people in society need to quit trying to find reason with the unreasonable and understand those that have no understanding. If a kid wants to do what Asa Coon did he will find a way.How did a 14 year old get a gun?(gasp!) Why wasn't there more security(Shame!)He was picked on (boo-hoo) Law abiding citizens should not be locked down. I am not saying we should not take measures of protection, but locking down the schools will not prevent this type of tragedy. Bad kids will continue to find ways to be worse.I think the best we can do is recognize the "bad kids" and remove them from society.Asa Coon was not a misunderstood, troubled youth. He was a ticking bomb and if you don't know which is the right wire to snip, take the bomb away so it doesn't hurt innocent people when it goes off.Our job now is to raise our kids right and hope we give them the skills to survive as we have done.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome job, Jason.
I agree completely that the foundation that is laid early in life combined with attention from the adults in a child's life are key components for raising a happy, physically and mentally healthy child.
I too come from a similar situation as you but for me my childhood was not as happy nor did it have a strong loving foundation.
My strength and my "turning out right" came from people who saw what was going on in my life early and became involved in my life. Showing me love and how to live a good life.
I went wild and made poor decisions, attempted suicide twice but because of those who took the time to show me right from wrong and immense love: I turned out fine and I learned how important it is to talk about problems instead of internalizing them.
No matter how many disagree with me, I will still say that there are warning signs in a young person's life that something is not right!
That is where there is supposed to be a system in place to help these young people.
So many times though, that system fails to recognize or be involved.
That's why I advocate getting involved.
I too am a parent and am protective of my child but I am also alert to his life and his surroundings at all times because I know the path so well that he could easily go down. Been there, done that in a single parent home and learned what not to do. Patsy

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Jason for once I actually liked reading something you wrote.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous linda said...

Great Job Jason! I love reading your thoughts. I must say I am shocked at your age. I thought you were at least in your 50's. When my kids were very young a wonderful teacher gave me this advice, "NO MATTER HOW OLD YOUR CHILDREN ARE STAY VISIBLE. WHEN YOUR KIDS ARE AT A FRIENDS HOUSE SHOW UP, CHECK ON THEM, SHOW THEM YOU ARE WATCHING AND NEVER JUST TAKE THIER WORD FOLLOW UP ON WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE DOING, STAY VISIBLE." I am a working single parent and when I can't be visible I use the phone and talk to the parents, teachers and whatever adult is there and there. There has to be an adult there. It's not that I don't trust my kids but it's my way of protecting them and it lets them know I AM THE PARENT. I guess you could say I'm visible even when I'm invisible. I thought I would pass that advice on to your readers. Once again KEEP UP THE GREAT WRITING. LINDA

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boy, I hope your real dad's house never has a fire! I know where they will start the investigation.

9:05 AM  

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