Let’s Start Finding Out Why There are So Many Angry Young Men in America Who Act on Their Anger in Massively Destructive Ways to Society.
I usually write on children’s picture books, and their effect on the development of children’s minds and imaginations and how those reads, early and often, can fuel young readers in order to produce thinking, reflective, literate and well-read children in our society.
Reading can be soothing, comforting and enlightening in a culture where the pace of life today is lived at warp speed, and the scheduling of children’s days are non-stop, with little or no time for reflection. And that is not a good thing.
But, today, in light of the three recent horrific events in California, Texas and Ohio, I believe that we, as a country, need to be thinking about another question asked in a recent Op-Ed piece in a New York newspaper, entitled “Angry Young Men Continue to Be America’s Greatest Threat,” written by Maureen Callahan.
It asks WHY there are so many angry young men in this country so consumed with hatred, rage and anger that they only seem able to convey the depths of their feeling and emotion….. by way of carnage.
In the first of three recent mass shootings; the first at a festival in California, the young male shooter was asked by a witness to the chaos:
“Why are you doing this?”
And, the answer was:
“Because I’m really angry.”
Ms. Callahan’s piece mentions possible causes, with each new catastrophe begging the question as to what can possibly be fueling this level of anger? And here are some of the reasoning in her opinion piece, interwoven with a few of my own:
Is it violent video games?
Lack of gun control?
Music that is rife with lyrics of death and violence?
The disintegration of the nuclear family?
Lack of mental health awareness or support?
Is it perhaps that institutions that formed the underpinnings of a civilized society like the church, government and education have lost the moral compass and confidence of people on a massive scale?
Is it Social Media where people hear, sometimes in a vacuum, their own strongly held views heightened, formed and perhaps fueled, with no outlet or resolution?
Is it it the isolation that Social Media provides?
In one sense, Social Media may give young people a false sense of genuine connection to community and all its benefits, in that it may provide a young person with hundred of “LIKES” to a comment; yet that same young person may, in reality, have no real friends to bond with over a simple cup of coffee, face to face? And, it provides it in a vacuum.
Is it a lack of male role models for the young men of today, other than rock stars and sports figures?
Is it the allure of celebrity rather than true achievement?
Is it the culture’s focus on “self ” and the individual’s “truth” to the exclusion of what should be our collective belief in common values that sustain Truth?
I think it’s a combination of all of these things perhaps, but I would like to posit that it also involves the lack of something in so many young people today.
And that is something called “Emotional intelligence.” It’s a phrase that I think came to use in the ’90s by Daniel Goleman who wrote several books on the subject.
There are 5 key components to Emotional Intelligence and they are:
What makes the lack of any or all of these skills, sow the seeds for acting out on one’s feeling and emotions without concern for its impact on the common good?
Probably it’s akin to inserting a coin in a gum ball machine and not much processing goes on before the end result emerges, just the gum ball automatically coming out fully formed.
Only here, the result of the inserted coin is mass murder.
Again, Ms. Callahan recently opined only days before this latest mass shooting that the question we should be asking as a nation, and the energies we should be harnessing on asking and seeking answers and solutions to the reality of what has become the new normal is….. why there are so many angry young men in our culture and NOT why don’t we have another person on the MOON?
If we can’t civilize our present culture, built on millions of years of
attempting, multiple millennia on end to appeal to our better angels,
then, I firmly believe we should try and solve the problem right here
on earth, before we try to regain the moon.
Most people, and especially parents in this country, may be keenly aware on some level of consciousness, that the “centre will not hold.”
The poet, William Butler Yeats, 1923 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, expressed it so well here, in part, in his 1919 poem entitled, “The Second Coming:”
“Turning and turning in the
The falcon cannot hear
Things fall apart; the centre
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the
The blood-dimmed tide is
loosed and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is
The best lack all conviction
while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
Mr. Rogers, where are you when we need your wisdom and counsel?
In the words of one of his simple songs, “I Like to Be Told.”
If you would like to weigh in to The Snuggery on this, please use the comment section.
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