As a Child Does Something Wrong that Doesn’t Necessarily Mean that S/he is a Bad Person

The experiences of a man’s life, that’s, set him straight, from the childhood years, translated…

Because of work, I often have the opportunity, to interact with those who are, known as “problematic teenagers”. Both sexes, ages ranging anywhere from the elementary years to the high school age, with the assortments of bad behaviors such as stealing, bullying, and soliciting for sex too, and the adults are often, at wits’ ends about what to do with them, and they’d done all that they could for these problematic teens, but, found what they did to be, ineffective. The story of a friend’s coming of age may give alternative interpretations to this sort of misconducts.

not my comic…

My friend is in his thirties now, is a successful young man, graduated out of a top-notch university, with a career, taking off, he was recently awarded the “outstanding youth” medals, in order to keep his mother, who’d raised three children up alone on her own, he’d given up the opportunities in the west, to stay at home with his own mother. His “father died young, and he’d been on the assistance of the Fund for Children & Families, and, was successful in making his way out of poverty”, his story was, a huge inspiration, and I was interested in what had happened to him, along the way to growing up, so one day, I’d inquired, “How, did you grow up?”

“I lived in poverty”, he’d told me, “There was, nothing but the four-walls of a house that surrounded us, there was NOTHING in the house, and we can only, sit on the floors, and, my father’s a little-over-a-thousand-dollars wages took care of our family of five, sometimes, we can’t even afford to buy food.” He said, “sometimes, we’d received help from neighbors and friends, and sometimes, I was, forced, to steal.”

I didn’t catch his drift right away, he’d repeated himself, “I’d stolen, out of someone’s vegetable gardens, someone’s planted fruits, and an assortment of things at the local marketplaces.” I was in shock, that this, was completely opposite of my stereotype of how the model citizens grew up, overcoming the things in their lives, working hard, to achieve their goals! I’d shaken my head in disbelief, and asked him again, “Are you, for real?”

He’d smiled now. He’d told me, “the reason that drove me to steal, was to help better the household economics, and there was one more reason, that I’d not wanted to see that look of envy from my younger siblings’ eyes, when they see that other children have certain things.”

As the eldest, he’d carried upon his shoulders, the responsibilities of taking care of, looking after his younger siblings; the first time he went to steal from a grocery shop close to his home, when the shop owner wasn’t looking, he’d, taken two bottles of drinks, and handed them to his younger siblings. From his last year of kindergarten to the fifth grade, he’d stolen, an assortment of items, and the things he’d stolen got larger and larger, but, he’d always, taken the items home to his parents, and when they’d asked him where he got the items, he’d told them, “Someone gave it to me”, what’s weird was, his parents never questioned him on it. I’d told him, “Your parents may not really believe you, it’s because they’d needed these items, to make the household running, perhaps, that, was why they’d not, busted you?” After all, for an elementary-age child, getting an unlimited supply of resources, that, is truly, odd.

He shrugged, “ I don’t really know for sure, but, I stole, because I didn’t want them to feel ashamed of not being able to provide for us. Once we’d gone to the night markets together, that, was a good opportunity for me, but, before I’d, shoplifted, another child was caught, taking something without paying; I saw how the parents were, insulted by the owner of the shop, it’d, scared the hell out of me, and, I’d vowed, to never shame my parents like that, and ever since, I’d, stopped, taking things without paying for them.”

I was, truly shocked, at how he had, quit stealing cold turkey. But my friend told me, that the process of stopping himself from taking things without paying, was nothing easy, because although his reasons were justified since the start, it was, still, easily, for him, to get addicted to stealing, so, he’d needed, an alternative activity to replace shoplifting, and since then, he’d, started playing basketball. I’d asked him, “Did any adults know of what you did while you were growing up?”, “Nope, I’d relied on myself, and, I’d once thought, that had I gotten found out, would I, steal things out of habit, because I was, punished for stealing.”

not my picture still…

What drove my friend to steal things, stemmed from the love he had for his family, and, it’d ended, because of how much he’d loved his family too. Maybe, we can, take from this example, that maybe, the children’s behaviors, have a more delicate motive: maybe, we can, stop thinking in terms of right or wrong, to find out the motives of why someone does something awful, maybe?

So, this, is tracing one’s own motives for doing something bad, and this man stole out of necessity, because his family was in poverty, and, he’d needed the resources to live off of, and so, he’d, resorted to stealing, but, the time he’d bore witness to how another child got shamed stealing from a shop, was enough, to stop him from stealing things, because he didn’t want to make his parents feel ashamed, or embarrassed, like the kid who’d stole and was caught by the shop of the owner had felt.

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