Thursday, March 16, 2006

The mother of all lies...

"All creatures are more dangerous when afraid. In the most basic animal sense, if the dominant do not take care of you, you seek to dominate.”
- Gavin DeBecker, Protecting the Gift

On a gang affiliated web forum I see the photos of a young mother. In one shot she is throwing up her gangs’ hand signs, in another she makes a death related gesture towards rival gangs, and in another she features herself with a picture of her toddler baby.

On one hand this girl, like hundreds of other gang members I have met, says that her gang is for life. Then says that she would never want her own kid in a gang.

She is living a lie.

A lie she tells herself in order to sleep at night perhaps. A lie she tells herself in order to face each day maybe. But a lie nonetheless. She believes that she can live immersed in a life of violence and pain, represent a “cause” that kills thousands, and otherwise destroys the lives of thousands more and still have her child to grow up to be something different.

Modeling is a term we hear often. However in the behavioral sense, modeling means how we tell our children they should act by our own actions.

You hear it all the time. So called “artists” claiming that they are not role models. Sure musicians are in a very real sense just “actors” performing on records…but they still model behavior to kids. Kids for which reality is far more like a violent lyric than any music studio’s gangster rapper imitation.

I don’t knock music or freedom of expression. But the fact is we are all role models. We just may not realize it. The impact a musician has on a kid’s life is nothing compared to the impact of that kid’s parent. Somewhere some kid is looking up to us even though we may never know it.

How much more so for those of us who are parents. The way we live our lives is the blueprint from which our children will view and interact with society.

If we live a life of violence and Gangsterism and believe that somehow our children won’t imitate it, we live the ultimate lie.

Remembering that “mother is the word for God on the lips and hearts of children.”

Unless you want to bury that precious baby you hold in your arms for the world to see you have got to love him more than any rag you wear. You’ve got to love him more than any creed, or “king”, or “set.” When you are dead and gone the street is not going to remember you.

The same streets rich in the blood of dead gangsters will still remain long after all of you are gone.

So will your children. They will remain that is until their blood runs into the same gutters you fought tooth and nail to claim. Streets and territory you will never truly own.

If you don’t protect your children from fear and violence, they will live a life of fear and violence. To believe otherwise is the mother of all lies...