There are certain things that one is supposed to leave behind in childhood. Cruelty. Humiliating others. Petty revenge. Foolish pranks. Bullying. Laughing at others’ misfortune. Selfishness. Name calling.

I have a hard time relating to adults who engage in such behavior. I don’t find it funny. In truth, I find it horrifying. Such blatant lack of compassion kind of scares me, because you never know when it will be aimed in your direction. Be very careful who you consider to be friends.

I am particularly worried about those of us who are just entering adulthood right now, at a time when the leader of our country demonstrates most of this conduct on a daily basis and may very well be reelected. What kind of signal are we sending to our young adults when this is countenanced?

Now, more than ever, we need to model kindness and love and generosity. We need to be the lessons that our leaders are not. And we need to ask ourselves why we have such leaders in the first place.


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Just Another Day in My Life

So I went over to my friend’s condo to check his mail while he’s out of town. It was early in the morning, and I pulled up at the bank of mailboxes and stepped out of the car. Then I heard this scream. Not an excited scream like two teenage girls who are playing around. Not even a movie scream. This scream made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. I got back in my car and locked the doors.

Looking over my shoulder, I noticed a nearby condo door that was wide open, and I could see two pairs of feet. These people were rolling around on the floor, obviously locked in mortal combat. I immediately dialed 911. I was describing the events to them as they were unfolding, but I got the sense that they thought this was a crank call, probably because my cell phone is from another area code, and because, well, the story got very strange.

What happened next was that they took their fight outside. At first I assumed the small woman was the victim, but then she ripped the shirt off the guy…no wait. That was not a guy! That was a woman, now topless, defending herself on the front lawn. And the little woman was throwing all her possessions into the yard while screaming as if she’d been bludgeoned.  And then little woman threw an iron straight at naked woman’s head! It shattered in the parking lot (the iron, not her head).

Meanwhile I’m hunkered down in my car while talking to 911 and trying to be invisible in spite of my front row center location. It seemed like an eternity before the cops got there. By the time they arrived, naked woman had put on a shirt and had walked away. I talked to the officer on the phone and told him what I witnessed from the report. But neither of them would admit anything, so he decided not to press charges.

Finally I drove away, and since the road is one way and I had to stop and check in on my friend’s condo, it took me several minutes before I had circled back around to the front gate. I was thinking that I live a relatively sheltered life. I mean, things like this just don’t happen to me. Thank goodness they don’t, too, because I was getting nauseous from the adrenaline dump.

As the gate slowly opened up for me, who do I see but the little woman with her 12 year old child in tow, waiting for me.  She takes one look at me and lunges for the car, cursing and screaming like a banshee. She must have seen me talking on the phone during her little boxing match. But now, seeing her fury directed at me, I must admit I nearly soiled myself as I accelerated away. It’s so ironic that this woman now clearly wanted to go for my eyes when I had gotten involved originally because I thought her life was in danger.

The last thing I saw was the look on her child’s face. She was mortified and my heart broke for her. What will her life be like with that type of role model? It makes me sad just thinking about it.