Why is America so violent?
by Stephanie Mann – 10/18/22
Many adults don’t realize that children lacking self-awareness can grow up to become a threat to themselves, their families, communities, and society. Today’s youth ransack, loot, and destroy businesses as their anger turns against authority, the police. The following example helps us understand why children need their identities to keep everyone safe and healthy.
In 1951, J. D. Salinger wrote the widely acclaimed classic novel “The Catcher in the Rye.” The book is linked to several murders and murder attempts.
– In 1961, President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
– In 1980, John Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman in New York City with a copy of “Catcher in the Rye“ in his pocket.
– In 1989, Rebecca Schaffer was shot by Robert John Bardo in the doorway of her home.
These three men were stalkers who read and identified with the book’s fictional character, Holden Caulfield. What did Chapman, Hinckley, and Bardo have in common with Holden Caulfield? They identified with his worldview, railed against the “phoniness” of the adult world, and became lonely and emotionally unstable.
Many young people today may follow or go along with the wrong crowd because they lack an identity. When children are abused, neglected, or angry, parents often fail to give them the emotional tools to develop their identities. Young people don’t know how to handle fear, disappointment, anger, or rejection. They may fill the void by latching on to a famous or not-so-famous person and stalking them for attention. (Celebrities now hire armed guards for protection) Young men can become obsessed as they live in fantasy relationship. Emotionally immature young people can feel rejected, alone, and angry, turn to drugs, become suicidal, and destroy property, themselves, or others.
We need to look at self-destructive behavior from a broader perspective. Today, we live in a society with increasing drugs and porn, domestic and child abuse, road rage, sex addiction, suicide, homelessness, and murder. Americans lacking identities and feeling powerless may give up or try to control other people’s lives. Some people can become mentally disturbed as they blame others.
Most parents focus on a good education for children to become successful. However, that is not as important as giving children the emotional tools to handle the slings and arrows of life. With adult guidance and a network of support, children can develop self-confidence, self-control, and self-determination.
Every child has undiscovered talents with the ability to develop the 3C’s, Courage, Character and a self-protective Conscience which is critical for a happy, self-reliant life. When youth discover the power of their divine inner spirit (Identity), they will understand the inner journey from bondage to freedom.
If we want community peace and unity in the future, we must discuss the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle. To ignore children’s inner nature and fail to help them develop self-awareness (identities) is to deprive them of a happy, safe, and self-confident future.
For more information: Check out “Empowerment Parenting: How to raise resilient children who become happy, self-reliant adults.” www.safekidsnow.com
Stephanie L. Mann, Crime and Violence Prevention Consultant
Author of five books on safety