Monday, December 2, 2013

LOCKDOWN

In the mood for a Sheriism? Well, here I go:

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call, as well as an email, notifying me that our elementary, middle grade, and high schools were forced into a lockdown around 11:00 AM that day. Our three schools and most athletic fields are in close proximity in a squared off part of town. 

Apparently, a suspicious person, wearing camouflage, was seen entering the woods behind the high school. The police department immediately called our schools, ordering them to lockdown. To ease your minds, it was later found that this individual was of no threat and the lockdown was lifted.

However, it made me reflect on my town, country, and world. Since 9-11, the world's eyes have been opened to the possibility of unexpected and pointless violence. There are countless bombings throughout the world, and, of course, we New Englanders will never forgot the violence at the Boston Marathon, last year.
On one hand, the lockdown my kids went through is a blessing. We've seen useless tragedies, and we've stepped up with precautionary measures to try and insure the safety of our citizens, especially children. But it sucks.

What happen to the days when an eight year old could ride his/her bike to a friend's house? Or when a group of teens could responsibly drive in a car together? Then there's locking your car doors whenever you leave it. Heck, growing up we never even locked the door to our house. You wanted to visit. Come on in ...

And what about helping out a neighbor, like kids raking the elderly couples' lawn just to be nice. I can remember my parents sending me to the Mom and Pop store outside my neighborhood for a gallon of milk. They didn't have to worry about me being abducted or the store clerk taking advantage of me because I was so young. Everyone looked out for each other. 

I guess on some level, the world is like that today. Some countries help defend other countries. Some organizations raise funds to help the less fortunate. But it's much more impersonal. Let me tell you, it was pretty personal when the owner of that Mom and Pop store spoke up to the young kids running around the isles. Or when they told the group of teens buying soda to help the little old lady at the register to her car. Do you think those kids complained? No way.

I'm so sad my kids have to grow up in a world, where they practically have to ask the pizza man for his name, rank, and serial number before opening the door to pay for the pizza. What will it be like for their children and their children's children? 

 Just me pondering. Feel free to add your two cents or even three!
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20 comments:

  1. I fully agree with you and often lament that my kids can't take off on their bikes for a few hours like I could do. I wonder if every generation feels that about their children though?

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    1. That's a great question. It seems every generation has its pros and cons.

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  2. I just told my husband yesterday that when our son gets old enough, I'm not comfortable w/him just jumping on his bike and zipping all over town by himself. I remember all too well when I was stopped as a tween when I was out walking the dog around the block by a man in a car. He said a few normal things, and then asked me how old I was. I remember thinking it was strange he wanted to know, but being raised to be polite, I told him, and then he said something completely not okay. When he saw my face, he said he wasn't trying to scare me and took off. I told my mom when I got home and she called the police and they took me around to see if I could identify the car- I couldn't. So, yeah, I'll be the mom standing in the yard watching my son on his bike, lol!

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    1. OMGosh! That's awful. Thankfully you were a smart girl and listened to the strange vibe you were getting. I can't imagine being your mom. If that happened to one of my kids today, I would totally freak.

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  3. Times really have changed. My brother and I used to take off on our bikes when we were young and ride all over town. Couldn't do that now.

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    1. Yeah. During the summer months, I remember my mom sending outside in the morning and saying, "Be back for dinner." We used to run in the woods, ride bikes, play at the playground, and whatever else. No one ever gave us a second thought.

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  4. I hear you. My daughter's elementary school had two lockdowns, the first when she was only in Kindergarten, because it's near a bank that had been robbed. Even the lockdown drills are confusing for young kids. We live in a wonderful neighborhood with lots of families who look out for one another, but still, there have been incidents of strangers approaching kids. By 4th or 5th grade, they want the freedom to walk/ride bikes independently around the neighborhood, but it's so hard to let go of our fears.

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  5. I used to go everywhere at my lair. But now no way. Wouldn't let a kid do what I did. Sad but it is the times I guess. Only seems to be getting worse too.

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    1. I often think about what the world will be like when my kids have kids of their own. I don't like what I see. But I believe in the genuine goodness of most people. I think we'll adjust and figure out how to live wholesome lives. At least, I hope so.

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  6. I believe eventually everything we do will be monitored by the powers that be.

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    1. As much as I hate to admit it, I think you might be onto something. The future looks kind of sketchy.

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  7. I think about that, and I think about how different the world is now from my grandparent's eyes, and what they lament that's been lost through a couple generations. The only thing constant is change.

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  8. I think of these issues this way: There have always been dangers, in every time and in every society. What the dangers are, change, depending on the time and the society. So, are things worse now than before? I tend to think things are only different, not necessarily worse.

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  9. Oops, my comment got eaten I think. It is sad how paranoid we have to be. I try to remain hopeful that the world still has plenty of good in it to overwhelm the bad.

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  10. I've thought about this before. There are many different things today vs. yesteryears. One thing that has been like a blooming onion to things is the impact of instant. Instant gratification. Instant all-about-me. Instant awareness to be afraid, all these things sensationalized.

    When we grew up, it was okay that the village actually took care of each other. Now, that is seen as too communal and a bad thing. It was okay for things to take their time, but now, give it to me ten seconds ago. Sensationalizig has helped with hyper-awareness to the point that sending a kid off on their bike down to little Timmy's house sounds strange today, though it was the norm twenty years ago.

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  11. I'm feeling grateful at the moment for the lack of reality that comes to Ann Arbor. We DO leave our doors unlocked and send our kids off on bikes--"Be home a 5:30 for dinner"... have since they were... 8 or 9. What a scary thing to go through. I guess we've had a couple local scares, but they tend to be other parts of town. I think to some degree, you can't let these few moments influence how you live too much, or the bad guys win. At the same time, it sure does make it scare sometimes.

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  12. My daughter's school went into lock down the first week of school while I was in the building to pick her up. It wasn't a great start to the school year. I miss the days when schools were open and you could walk through the halls without worry. That's all changed. I am glad that they have procedures to keep our children safe though.

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  13. I remember, too, when my mom would send us kids outside and we would be gone for hours and she'd never worry. Neither did we. It's sad those days are over.

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  14. So true. I used to walk around way more than I'd ever let my daughter now. And I really worry when she goes away to college in 2 years. I don't want to be paranoid but she has to be more conscious than I did to stay safe. It's sad what our kids and we have to worry about.

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  15. I agree. My kids do not have the independence I had as a child. I used to walk and ride my bike everywhere! I worry if they are out of my sight now! There are so many more issues now with the safety of the Internet, too and everyone knowing their business on Facebook or Instagram as well.

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