Young Men Behaving Badly

I just read an article posted on Yahoo News about the star starting-quarterback of Oregon being suspended for the season after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary in the theft of a pair of laptops and a guitar from a campus fraternity. In addition two other important team members were also meted out punishment for serious offenses as well. One was the star running-back and the other was the place-kicker, one for harassment charges stemming from an altercation with a former girlfriend and the other for his role in a street fight.

I’m sure this behavior is not limited to the football players at the U of O Ducks. However, this does show how many of our young males are not getting certain fundamentals about what should be considered acceptable behavior. These charges are not minor. Stealing, fighting, and hitting a girlfriend are not acceptable behavior. Each of these offenses were dealt with in a court of law. The charges were reduced to a lower offense because of who these boys are in the community. Had they not been in their current positions of notoriety perhaps their sentencing would have been more severe. There were several other members of the football squad that were facing disciplinary action as well.

There is something sad about feeling that you are above the law. Some feel that with fame they do not have to play by the same rules as “ordinary people.” With prestige and privilege something goes to the heads of many people. It is called ego, “super-inflated ego.” One feels larger than life and above others, therefore they feel that they can get away with things. These are not the basic values we expect or try to instill in our men. People of low morals and values fill a low space among our fellow human beings. If you participate in such hideous acts of behavior that makes you the scum that we would like to keep separated from the rest. That is why we spend so much money on the penal system. We try to lock people away that commit crimes against the public.

I do not intend to embarrass these young men or pick on them, because many, if not most, young men commit silly and inexcusable things. I too did things that, as an adult, I am not proud to admit. We do these things, not because we have to, but at many times, just “for the hell of it.” If we felt that we could get away with our foolishness we did it. We know they were wrong when we were doing them, but still we did them. Somehow a very clear-cut line isn’t being firmly planted. This is what we need to start enforcing. If or when our children cross the lines we need to allow them to pay for those actions. There are consequences to everything you do. Some are not pleasant. If you do the crime be prepared to pay the time. You need to know that wrong behavior has severe consequences. The sooner you learn this lesson the better off you will be.

We have to find ways to teach our children this very important lesson. Each one needs to teach another. This is the only way we can reach them all. Each parent or guardian must make their children one of their highest priorities. We need to love them and support them when they do well, but we need to drop the hammer on them when they go against the standard order of conduct. Better that you punish them early than the criminal justice system owning them for a large portion of their lives. “Each one teaches one.”

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