One of the joys of visiting Lake Tahoe in the summer is fishing for crawfish (aka crawdads) along the rocks of the shore. Yesterday we were hanging out at the beach admiring the bucket load a family had caught and they offered to give us one for our sand bucket. My daughter was thrilled…after finding a dead crawdad on the beach earlier, it was nice for her to see a live one.
Later that day, as we packed up to go home, I walked with her over to the rocks so we could set the little crawdad free again. Along the way we ran into the boys who had caught the original bucketful. They had set most of the little guys loose already. But, unfortunately for this one remaining crustacean, they had come up with a game where they dumped sand on top of it in the bucket then tipped the bucket over and waited for the crawfish to climb his
way out.. I asked if they thought the crawfish liked this and they said he had already done it a lot of times and was
What had been such a lovely memory from my childhood became tainted by the sight of the poor crawfish struggling for freedom and, earlier, the dead crawfish sticking out of the sand. It reminded me of the recent YouTube video where the old woman was bullied on the bus. A fantastic writer, Charles M. Blow wrote a piece for the New York Times about how that event relates to the society we now live in.: (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/23/opinion/blow-bullies-on-the-bus.html). Somehow I don’t think Mr. Blow would be at all surprised by the behavior of these two boys.
He wrote… ”It is that part of society that sees the weak and vulnerable as worthy of derision and animus.”
You would think that in a civilized country we would be teaching our children how to care for, not take advantage of, those who are weaker or less able. Instead, we live in a time when in order to maintain our own powerbase we model
disrespect and intimidation. It is pervasive…. In the video games we play, the political debates we have, and the resources we fight over. And sadly, I think many people have become immune and even callous towards these
There are ways to combat this though. Of course one option is to donate to the vacation fund set up for this bullied woman. But to affect it on a larger scale we can consider donating to an anti-bullying campaign (find some resources for this here: http://ellen.warnerbros.com/2010/10/donate_to_the_anti-bullying_organizations_ellen_supports_1005.php).
We can also join many others in the bipartisan effort led by NoLables.com to restore civilized debate and discussion
And certainly we can and should do some reading about the negative effects of violent video games (http://www.apa.org/research/action/games.aspx).
But most of all we can stand up for the little guy… every day, even when it is only in a small way, and even if it is
only just a crawfish.