Responding to violence

It’s taken me a few days to reflect on this incident I encountered the other day. It’s also taken me a few days “repent” from the way I responded to it.  I feel like it’s a good experience to share.

Greg and I were driving back from dropping off Heather just after getting our bee hives. We were in the Franklinton Gardens Truck which looks something like this…

Needless to say, we don’t blend in well with other cars. We turned a corner and saw a group of about 20 kids all gathered around two children fist fighting. We pulled the truck over and as we did noticed our kids (by ours I mean the lovely kids that live next door to us that have become apart of our family and we are very protective over). Not only that but we noticed adults, mothers, watching this fight take place on their sidewalk. Also noticed an 18-year-old (ish) male shoving the kid who was trying to walk away from the fight, back into the circle. Every time the child stepped out and tried to talk away, the guy would push him back in the circle and tell him to fight. It wasn’t just kids slapping each other, this was a violent fight.

Greg jumped out of the truck and walked into the circle immediately to break the kids up. I started gathering all our kids and the kids on our street into the truck. By gathering what I really mean is a was sternly yelling at them to get in the truck and get away from this. When Greg asked the man in the circle why he pushing the kid into fight he went off and started threatening him. As the kids were loading up in the truck the police showed up and the man facilitating the fight instructed everyone to split. As he was walking away and walked past me and the kids in the truck I just lost it. I was so extremely emotional and fearful of what just happened and I was so angry at that man. I confronted him asking him why he is doing this to children and why he is exposing children to this kind of violence and who knows what else I said in the heat of the moment. He came back at me with some nasty names and a threat and a “you don’t know me.”

We got the kids home safe. Had a talk about what just happened and the fact that when they get old enough and the police show up to something like that and they are standing there that they will get arrested for even just being there. We talked about just walking away from those things because there is nothing good there to be influenced by. Not sure they really cared what I said  but I love those kids so damn much and want to protect them from everything bad in the world. I don’t want these kids to grow up  and resort to violence every time something goes wrong. I want these kids to have good lives. I don’t want to see them in fights or even worse, shot. These are the same kids that have come over in the morning before school to have us tie their shoes and now we are dragging them out of fights.

I know they are exposed to it a lot. I know they see fights almost daily. Violence seeps out of the sidewalks down here. But I am glad that at least this once we were able to get them out of the situation and let them know how damaging these things can be. Someone there to say that this isn’t normal and this isn’t ok.

 I regret confronting that man the way I did. It’s not his fault. He was right when he said I don’t know him. I don’t know where he has come from or what he has seen or what he has been exposed to. It’s not right that he was pushing kids into fight, I am not justifying that at all. But talk about a man growing up in a terrible situation that has resorted to him thinking this kind of thing is ok. It was just as violent of me to come at him like I did. Rather than try to engage with him and talk rationally. I am never rational in those types of situations and how can you be?

Rain down justice upon us Lord, that we might live in peace.

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