Honea Path, SC USA
This shouldn't be about placing blame and figuring out whose fault it is. If you spend your life blaming others for the things that happen to you, all you are doing is being a victim. People need to take ACCOUNTABILITY for their actions.
Ok, the kid (any of them) had a rotten life. Bad role models, abused. Lots of people do. They don't all become criminals. Not even the majority of them. The teens are the ones who make the choices to steal cars, rob stores, vandalize, whatever. Nobody is making them do that. Life is what you make of it. It's not predestined. We all have the power to choose WHO and WHAT we are going to be.
My mom died when I was 2 years old. I was raised by an alcoholic father who physically and mentally abused my brother and I. He often left us alone at night so he could go drink with his buddies. I clearly remember the MPs (dad was in the Army) knocking on the door one night when I was 6 and left home alone with my 4 year old brother. It took them half an hour to convince me to open the door because I knew I'd get in trouble if I let anybody know that we were alone at night. There have been many MANY times when my dad did that. One summer night when I was 8 there was a tornado warning (tornado had been spotted in area) and my brother and I were scared to death. We called the bar to tell dad, who told us to take cover in the hallway. Instead, we went to a neighbor's house. They reported the situation to CPS many times. Nothing was ever done. When he remarried, I saw him beat my stepmother numerous times.
Hard life, wouldn't you say? But did I end up in prison because of it? No! Do I use it as my excuse for not accomplishing anything with my life? No! To do so would be to deny my own power. To admit defeat. In your mind's eye, we are all powerless, a thing to be pitied, "poor us" for what has happened to us. That's a bunch of bull! I am a strong, capable, responsible, caring, intelligent, productive member of society because that's what I choose to be. My life doesn't define me. I define it.
It matters not how strait the gate;
How charged with punishments the scroll;
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.