Last week my granddaughters and I went to the pool. Normally, there aren't very many people there but on this particular day, it was unusually busy. After a quick dip I found a spot in the shade and read one of the stories on my Sony reader while the girls had fun playing with their friends.
When we'd been there about an hour, a fight erupted between two young teenaged girls in the pool. I'm not talking about a little sissy fight with them splashing water on each other. This was a champion throwdown with hair pulling and shoving. They were holding each other down under the water.
I must say I've never seen the head lifeguard move that fast--not because he can't, but because he doesn't usually need to. Anyway, he took life and limb in hand and separated the girls. Then he escorted them to the end of the pool where the steps were. As they reached the steps, one girl decided she wasn't finished with the fight.
She went around the lifeguard, after the other girl. Again, he separated them. Nope, she still wasn't finished. So he bodily lifted her out of the water, carried her across the width of the pool, set her on the side and told her to stay there.
In the meantime, her target climbed out of the pool, dried off and called her mother. Then until her mom arrived, she sat quietly waiting.
Now you might ask what in the world precipitated this fight. And the answer was words. One girl admitted she didn't like the other girl very much because she considered her rude. So the other girl attacked her physically because we all know that's the best way to win friends and influence people. Right? Right?
And if at first you don't succeed by beating someone over the head, well try, try again until they're cowering in submission. We can speculate all we want to about the influence of television, music, and movies on the way our kids behave. But the truth is our children usually model their behavior on what is acceptable in our home. If violence is the first solution in every instance, then that's what our kids will use.
At fourteen, this young lady has already settled into a pattern that will govern the way she relates to people around her for the rest of her life. I find this rush to violence very disturbing.
This fight wasn't precipitated in self-defense. It wasn't even started in the defense of someone else. It was initiated by a young woman who didn't like the words she heard.
What happens the next time she doesn't like something someone says? Will someone die because she refuses to stop?