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Let’s stop the culture of violence. Our children are watching. – Twin Cities

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I remember the days fighting didn’t mean your life had to end. In the neighborhood where I grew up, an occasional fight wasn’t uncommon. Sometimes it starts as a result of joking around while playing a sport. These skirmishes often teach us that we can disagree but still be friends. In a sense, it’s progress. Those moments don’t send anyone to the hospital or become a mortal enemy.

The abolitionist Frederick Douglass once said, “Without struggle, there is no progress.” He is referring to the hard work, sacrifice, and dedication to ensure freedom for African Americans. He claims that the road to freedom will be difficult but the travel will be well worth it. Moving our country from one that embraces slavery to one that embodies the virtues of freedom, democracy, and equality is progress that makes us all better.

Unfortunately, the philosophy of struggle seems to have lost its luster. In our politics, we have become so polarized that we are not willing to do the work necessary to find common ground. It may be easier to win the lottery than to pass bipartisan legislation. Fortunately, the House and Senate recognize, at least to some extent, the harmful impact the deadlock is having on our democracy. Both are working to improve their legislative effectiveness. The House of Representatives-based Selection Committee on Modernization of Congress has made recommendations for ways to better work while the Senate is giving serious consideration to reforming the film.

Just like Congress, it’s time for us adults to rethink the way we’re communicating and treating each other. When we disagree, it is not only understandable but also to be expected. After all, we have different opinions. Through constructive discourse, we can enhance our understanding of each other. Disagreement should not become our enemy. The way we act and behave in this process is what sets the stage for mutual respect and understanding.

Unfortunately, too many of us have forgotten the Golden Rule. We see more and more evidence of adult misconduct in public places. For example, on an airplane. So much so that flight attendants are now taking self-defense classes to protect themselves from poorly behaved passengers. Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration reportedly conducted more than 1,000 investigations into reports of unruly passengers.

We see it on the road, too: motorists cut through other people in traffic, drive close to force others to go faster, or use vulgar gestures. All of these are examples of adults setting the wrong example. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a large number of crashes can be attributed to aggressive and aggressive driving on the road. Rage also leads to murders.

Wondering that violence and bad behavior has become the norm for our teenagers? They are watching what we say and do. Now, a brawl between youths in the neighborhood can lead to bloodshed in the streets or worse.

We’ve read about school fights that lead to retaliation in the streets. This inclusive mindset and our culture of intolerance are affecting the hearts and minds of so many of our young people. They may believe that any form of disagreement means the other is their fighter. Common ground is not sought when everyone is being tortured. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all teens have experienced some form of violence in their lives.

Adults have a responsibility to change this perspective and provide a more civic environment. Attitude reflects leadership, as we say. So are we providing the right examples and leadership? If we asked our children if we were good role models, what would their answer be?

I have fond memories of the days when political leaders of both parties sat across from each other and debated issues without being named. And after the debate, they would shake hands and have kind words to say about each other. I also find it amusing that disagreements between young people do not lead to chaotic action and bloodshed.

Cultivating a culture of violence begins with us. That’s how we treat our loved ones, neighbors, local store cashiers, delivery drivers and restaurant staff. Our children are watching and taking their cues from us.

Let’s start the new year being a better role model for future generations. Our youth wants us to do better. We cannot continue to let them down and then ask them to do better.

Jerald McNair is the administrator of School District 151 in South Holland, Illinois. He wrote this column for the Chicago Tribune.

https://www.twincities.com/2022/01/09/jerald-mcnair-lets-stem-the-culture-of-violence-our-children-are-watching/ Let’s stop the culture of violence. Our children are watching. – Twin Cities

Sarah Ridley

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