Saturday, August 27, 2005

Permanent Victim Society

The terms "synchronicity" and "coincidence" are very significant ones for me. For when different events with a strong commonality occur, I pay extra special attention.

The recent synchronicity concerns one of my least favourite topics but most common rants: Our society has clearly devolved into one where everyone is a defacto Permanent Victim. If you're not familiar with this term then let me rephrase it this way: Too many people in our society have chosen to absolve themselves of all responsibility for their actions, no matter how horrendous and damaging these actions may be.

A few days ago here in Vancouver some teenagers stole an SUV. In the early hours of the morning they encountered the police. Rather than surrender, the driver chose to ram the SUV against a police car, in which was a young rookie officer. Another officer, seeing that his colleague was in imminent danger, fired his gun into the SUV, killing the passenger in the front seat. The young deceased man already had several convictions on his growing criminal record. Yet, as was easy to predict, his father is now accusing the police of needlessly shooting his son, who he claims was a perfectly "good boy". And I bet you anything this will not be the end of the accusations against the police, as the usual suspects join the tirade.

Several years ago a young man visiting from India was drag racing on the streets of Vancouver and inadvertently killed an elderly woman. Sometime after that he was ordered deported but, of course, he is still here today. He just keeps on saying that he "doesn't want to go" and officialdom is doing nothing to effect the deportation order. He has never been apologetic or regretful for killing the completely innocent woman.

I'm convinced that this all starts at a young age. A [seemingly] growing number of parents decide that they will forever coddle and pamper their children, constantly excusing them of their inappropriate behaviour. In the same way that animals are trained to act a certain way, why do we think that human brains aren't programmed by the sum of their experiences?

So when these cute little children become terrible teenagers, why are any of us surprised? Especially when the parents of these evolving criminals immediately jump to their defence, lashing out at anyone who dares interfere with the lives of their precious little children.

The next time you see one of these little monsters in the news, remember this:

  • They do whatever they want, knowing that their parents will get them out of any jam.
  • If their parents are sensible enough to let them face the consequences, then they claim they're victims and a legion of social workers and psychologists come to their aid.
  • They never really try to reach their full potential, and sometimes don't even try at all, because they know that their parents or the nanny state government will eventually bail them out.
  • They go through life doing whatever pleases them, rarely if ever worrying how their actions affect others.
On talk radio shows, in letters to the editor, and in everyday conversations I constantly and almost consistently hear people expressing exactly the same feelings as what I've expressed here.

Yet when politicians listen to such programmes do they just convince themselves that the only people who say these things are radical nutcases who make up a small minority in this country? In point of fact, I'm convinced it is those who they take advice from that constitute the tiny minority. The rest of us just want some semblance of a justice system and an adherence to basic values. We want a return to a society where there are absolute "rights" and "wrongs" and people are held to account when they choose to violate them.


Dorcas said...

"You suffer your people to be ill educated and curropt from birth, then punish them for the crimes to which their first education disposed them. So is not said that one first creates thieves and then punishes them?"-Sir Thomas Moore

Funny how something written so long ago still applies. I agree with you. The young people in my city are so spoiled that they do not know how to take care of themselves. They live off their parents their whole lives, being given first what ever toy they want, then a new car, then a house to go to college in, and trips around the world (I have a similar rant on my blog).

dgnyhk said...

As a *parent*, I see this all the time and it drives me up a wall. The argument I often hear is that parents both have to work because the nanny state doesn't take care of them and thus they aren't around to take care of their kids.
Another way of abdicating responsibility, in my mind.
That said, some kids are just trouble from the start. Often they grow out of it, often having proper consequences (like time in jail) helps. I know one such kid personally and I can honestly say, the parents involved did everything they could (including turning him over to the government) but ultimately the kid just decided to grow up and is now an exceptional human being.
In my mind, blaming parents is just another form of the blame game. I can see it in younger children, but a teenager is quite capable of taking responsiblity for his/her actions and I see no reason not to hold them accountable.
Taken from another perspective, kids in Hong Kong are more coddled than pretty much anywhere on the planet, but we don't have nearly the crime or *violence* seen elsewhere so I'm not convinced it's *just* sparing the rod as cause.

PelaLusa said...

Dgnyhk, I agree with you for the most part. And I think I know which "kid" you're referring to. Kudos to him. But you also know the story in my own family where things didn't turn out so positive. Where I get upset is when the parents stop trying at an early age. As for HK kids, their reputation here in Vancouver isn't very positive at all!