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!