It was intense…in your face. Unsettling…unnerving…sad…depressing…and uplifting.
It was packed with a cast of characters that was welcoming and impressive. And left my brain packed with questions about our educational system…families…humanity.
At one point early in the film, I turned to Mr. Universe’s daughter and asked if school was really like that. To my relief she said hers wasn’t…but I fear that far too many are.
I can’t imagine being a kid today. We were talking at dinner last night about what it’s like to be a teenager now versus when we were growing up. I can’t even begin to comprehend their reality. Both Mr. Universe and I were bullied in school, but for us the bullying stopped when we went home. I mean the affects were still there but we could at least escape the bullies until tomorrow.
Today, with Facebook and Snap Chat and FaceTime and whatever-the-hell-else kids use to communicate in a 24×7 fashion, there is no escape. Your classmates…friends…enemies…are connected to you and each other around the clock. When you go home, you may not see the bully in person but s/he may still virtually torment you through whatever online tool is the latest and greatest.
Again, can.not.imagine! And worse, I’m not even exactly sure how we got to this point. How as a society have we progressed (or rather regressed) to children shooting each other? Bullying not only other school kids, but teachers? To no longer caring about the present, let alone the future? Where did we go wrong? Where did our priorities get so skewed?
Do people collect children like they do clothes…cars…houses? Is a child simply another status symbol to be strutted about and then tossed aside? Are we so lax about sexual encounters and how we protect ourselves that birth control is none existent…or something you think about after? I know not every family is like this, but far too many seem to be these days. If it wasn’t an issue, we wouldn’t be watching movies depicting the honors of childhood and growing up in city high schools.
I wish I had the answer…some magical pearls of wisdom that would lead us to the change so many are desperately seeking. I get that I don’t have any children so some may say I’m not allowed to have an opinion…or even raise the issue. However, I am a human being living on this plane…with these child that will one day care for this planet…but most importantly, I was a child once. And frankly, I think that qualifies me to have an opinion.
I’ve purposely elected to not have any children of my own to this point in my life because I didn’t feel that I could provide the environment…time…attention a child deserves. I made that decision because I’m an adult and it’s my responsibility as such to make decisions that are honest.
Somewhere along the line I feel like we’ve lost that contemplation…the honest assessment of whether it’s time — and we’re capable — of not just bringing a child into the world, but to care for it…feed it…nurture it…provide for it. I feel like we’ve lost the contemplation of whether we, as adults, are equipped to raise a child. Seems we’ve become a bit too detached from the whole situation.
As Dr. Doris Parker, a high school guidance counselor in the movie, says “It is so easy to be careless. It takes courage and character to care.”