Young. Dumb. Dead

Jamisha Gilbert pictureThis week has been filled with heartbreak in our community.  It started when another young woman went missing and only a few days later turned up dead.
Jamisha Gilbert’s disappearance and her death is so fresh considering we are still grappling over Alexis Murphy.  Alexis, by the way, is still missing and this  week we hit the four month mark since she vanished.
It’s tragic to know that one mother knows where her daughter is (provided little comfort), while another mother still suffers at night not knowing if her daughter is alive.

Add to the mix, the 11 college kids from Washington & Lee who had their lives changed forever this week.  They were all riding in an SUV after a night of “lot’s of fun”, only to crash.  One kid killed.  vigilI’m sure the driver will be charged with
vehicular manslaughter any day.  He’s already charged with DUI.  The thing is, it could’ve been any of those kids behind the wheel.  He was probably just unlucky enough to have the largest vehicle.

Then there was the incident between two friends in Roanoke on Wednesday afternoon.  One of them was handling a gun.  It went off.  The other teenager was killed.  Child’s Play?

In all of these incidents, what comes to mind is young and dumb.  Before you think I’m here to pass judgement, I’m not.  The truth is at one point we’ve all been young and dumb.  I can think of a few things in my high school or college days that could’ve taken me on a whole different path.  For that matter, there were some decision I made in my 20′s that could’ve put me in a coffin a lot sooner.

I’m sure many of you could say the same even if you don’t do it publicly.

What really disturbs me though is how I believe social media has perhaps magnified and glorified dumb behavior.

Explicit warning labels on CD’s,  Rated-R movies and Pay-Per-View were the threats in the “old days”.  Now we have Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube and the list goes on.

In so many of these tragedies now, it’s bothersome  to see these young girls on Facebook and making online videos, just putting themselves out there as a piece of meat.  This week we’ve seen more videos of “kids in the news” readily admitting online that they smoke weed.   How many times have you run across Facebook photos showing underage drinking?

Don’t you know by now that when you do something online you do it in front of the world?  It’s young. It’s dumb.  It’s tacky.  To you young women out there, let me tell you, what you all are doing online isn’t cute and oh yes, there are consequences.  I don’t think that is reason enough to be murdered or raped, but you have to know bad behavior attracts evil.

Parents, you gotta start talking to your kids and don’t wait until they’re 14 and 15.   “Train up a Child….”  And yes, while all children make mistakes (as part of badge of honor to adulthood), we all have to step up and revert back to the “It takes a Village…”

Our kids will be young and dumb, but it is imperative that those of us who survived our poor decisions, protect them from theirs.

2 responses to “Young. Dumb. Dead

  1. Hollani, wise words indeed. Altho, I’m not sure it “takes a village”. Many parents I see today I’d never trust with a child. Each parent must ACT like one – parenting is not easy, it’s a lot of work. Previous generations knew this & accepted the responsibility. Many today seem to see children as an “accessory”, like a cellphone or tablet. Just take the kid along w/ you anywhere regardless of it being day or night. Then when there’s a problem or accident, they use the Steve Urkel response: “Did I do that?” I especially agree w/ your comments about the dangers of social media. Electronic devices are great & have their place. But when they become the overriding factor in people’s (young & old) lives, major problems occur. Forrest Gump had it right: stupid is as stupid does. We need more common sense.

  2. Sent you a private message on your FB. Welcome to West Palm Beach.

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