This is a comment by Jonathan G on the post “Young Men Committing Violence: How Have We Failed Our Boys?“
Jonathan G said:
Here’s the crux of the problem, as I see it:
“We” as a society cannot act through our government and/or our civil society institutions partly for practical reasons and partly for ideological reasons. Practical: There are simply too many young men and not enough resources to keep tabs on all of them. Ideological: Tracking men closely enough to see how their lives are going and to understand their emotional state would require a level of invasive surveillance that’s against our nation’s principles, and would be ripe for massive abuse by unscrupulous totalitarian-minded government officials. So, practically speaking, if falls to all citizens to pay attention to the young men around them, to encourage them to speak up when their lives go off the rails, to extend a hand in compassion to help them get back on track.
But men are disposable. Our society expects a man to succeed or fail on his own merit alone, and if a man does not succeed, we just cast him aside. There are plenty of other men vying for the brass ring, right? People avert their eyes, he becomes untouchable, as if the infection will spread to anyone who gets near. Nobody wants to get close enough to see his mental state deteriorate as his life unravels. Then he snaps, and nobody knew it was coming …
I ask you, where are the people who saw a young man in trouble and tried to get close to him to help him, who feel terrible anguish because they were unable to reach Klebold and Harris, Loughner, Lanza, Holmes, Cho, and others, in time to help them? As far as I know, there are none.
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