Below is a repost from a blog I had on my Myspace from Dec 2007. I think the conversation is worth entertaining still...
HOW DOES THE CYCLE GET BROKEN?
I read a friend's comment on a blog recently that said:
"That's a cycle in which needs to be broken. Mothers and fathers are much younger today. Couples are waiting til their mid or late 30s to have children and grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Meaning......Parents are too young to teach and grandparents are too tired to handle them. Day Care and Afterschool programs are being shut down everyday. Parents are working two jobs to make ends meet while the kids are doing what they want. Therefore, these teens are roaming the streets with nothing to do but, sex, drugs, and hustle.
How does the cycle get broken?"
I thought about this last question and decided I would respond. I wrote so much I thought it was lengthy enough to include it as a blog. So here's my response:
Answering that question is a whole blog. Here are some of my basic thoughts:
Stopping the cycle is a multi-faceted process – Home, Education, Community, Society, Church.
The first place is the Home. We need more fathers there. We need fathers to take responsibility and not just HAVE children, but RAISE children. A recent statistic I found states that 44% of Latino parents in the Bronx are single parents. We need fathers or the cycle will not be broken.
Which leads us to the second place called Education. Both in the home and at school, are we failing our kids? Do we even care what they learn? What are we teaching them – academically, socially, morally? Is the message consistent or are we saying one thing and doing another? Are we double-minded people teaching mixed messages? Do these kids know they are not mistakes or some cosmic accident? Do they know they have value and purpose? Do they know they are loved? Without consistent holistic Education for the mind, body and spirit of the child, the cycle will not be broken.
With the growth of single parent households as well as grandparents raising grandchildren, how is the Community involved in the process? This is the third element. A generation or two ago, you could have been spanked by the teacher, the neighbor, and your parents. Not anymore. In this individualistic society we so highly esteem, the greater Community has very little involvement in the rearing up of children. Teachers are basically handcuffed with what they can do in the classroom and parents are too prideful to let the neighbor correct their child. We need more Afterschool, Daycare and Boys & Girls clubs in all of our communities. We need older men to mentor these young fathers (many who have grown up in single-parent households - a whole other topic). Without the Community involvement, the cycle will not be broken.
If we look to our Society for help, we see a post-modern, secular, materialistic worldview that preaches rebellion and self-idolatry. All day long we hear sermons of irresponsibility & immorality through our music, our laws, our politics, and our entertainment. We help RAISE irresponsible young men and women and support our argument based on findings of psychiatrists and science. Having a child write 100 times on a piece of paper, "I will not throw a chair at my teacher" is now considered Corporal Punishment. Disciplining a child can get u thrown in jail. Saying Merry Christmas or using the word God in the public square is considered religious rhetoric. If we ever wanted to see a present day representation of Babylon, we can find it in the United States, especially in New York. At its core, if our society is not transformed, many cycles will not be broken.
And so, we desperately need the Church if the cycle is to be broken. The teachings and miracles of Jesus Christ must be exhibited in this world if it is to be transformed. The Good News of the Gospel provides hope for a world that is dying of hopelessness and dissatisfaction. God has designed our hearts with a little hole in it that only He can fill. Many of the reasons we have these problematic cycles is because people are looking to fill that hole with anything and everything else but God.
Jesus gives a Peace that is unlike anything this world could give and I can personally attest to it in my own life. But the Church must LIVE the teachings of Jesus. Then the world will know that God is real and that He designed human beings to be in community with Him and with one another. A real, personal God, who understands our weaknesses and sympathizes, and loves us into wholeness. That is the reason God made Himself low and came down in the form of a man, so that He could lift up the lowly, and break these chains which are holding us, our people and our communities down.
- Joseph Dominick