There has been a tremendous influx of violent crimes in the city as of late, and at the very least, these acts have been unnerving. From home invasions to robberies, deviant sexual acts and even random homicides, crime has surged and people are genuinely concerned about their wellbeing.
I cannot remember an instance in recent history where crime has been so widespread within a specific timeframe. It doesn’t matter if you reside in a “good” neighborhood, are rich or poor, or even if you drive a certain type of vehicle. It seems that we are all targets.
But how did we get here?
My reasoning points to individuals who are the 20-somethings and younger. It seems with this demographic, we are seeing the results of what poor parenting, lack of education, disregard for authority and compassionless people actually get us. We are seeing now, more than ever, what the downward effect of not doing enough has gotten us: a bunch of crime.
I know the above items are not the only contributing factors, but they do play a large part.
I remember having a conversation years ago with a police officer in another state. He told me about an incident where a mother called police on her son because he continuously berated and even physically hit her. The officer said the teenager didn’t appear affected by the police presence. Initially, that youth spoke disrespectfully to the officers and continued to degrade his mother in their presence. The argument between the two was because the mother refused to upgrade her son’s cellphone to the newest model.
There had to have been something in that mother’s parenting past that allowed her son to think it was OK for him to verbally and physically abuse her repeatedly. Such acts don’t occur overnight; they add up and intensify over time. So oftentimes when you see a young child not “minding” his parents, not being reprimanded for bad behavior, not having chores, etc., that child will probably grow up with some sense of self-entitlement and abhorrence for authority. To expect any other type of result would be foolish.
The scary thing about the people who are committing some of these crimes is that their actions don’t faze them one bit; it’s as if they are walking zombies or robots with no feeling of inner depth. To be able to kill someone, literally end the life of another person, yet not exhibit remorse is astonishing. The same is true for people who rob others. What gives them the right to take something that someone else has worked for? How is that fair? In actuality, it is not fair, but because of the way many people have raised their children and that child’s self-entitled prophesy, it is the harsh reality we now are faced with.
So what do we do now? How do we right the wrongs of our past? How do we move forward?
There are basic things that can be done, things entities such as IMPD are already working on, like getting more police officers on the street and actually prosecuting people for the crimes they commit. But a more sustainable approach is to invest in children early on. That investment should come in more forms than monetary items. Investing in children means effectively parenting them, educating them on the difference between right and wrong, ensuring they respect authority and don’t always get what they want, and teaching children to have compassion for others. We will not see positive change in our communities until we start proactively doing these things on a continuous basis, generation by generation. It’s rare that people turn into mean, hateful, self-entitled beings as adults. Instead, it is something they develop over time. Until we make a concerted effort to properly raise our children, we will continue to see the negative attitudes, self-entitled ways and criminal conduct.
In the meantime, I guess all we can do is be aware of our surroundings, try not to place ourselves in precarious situations and report crimes as they occur. At least it’s a start.
SHANNON WILLIAMS @IndyRecorder