It Started With A Cape—Can we write a better ending?

It started with a bright boy, eyes shinning running with a cape on his back.  “I’m Batman, overcoming darkness and avenging evil!” He shrieks as he chases his brother through the halls of a middle class well appointed home.

Versions of this story are told and loved by many but today one little boy became a man playing the force of evil while he terrorized and slaughtered families, friends and lovers who were attending a midnight showing of Batman III in a theater located in small town of Colorado .  This act was not pretend for those who were caught up in a man-boy fantasy seeded by today’s entertainment.

Was it the escalating emphasis of darkness each version of “The Batman” exhibited?  Could it be hours of playing killing games on the most popular gaming products?  Was it a lack of connection to society and family?  Perhaps today’s popular antidepressants gave life to role playing that was never meant to see the acuteness of reality.

I hurt for the loss of life, I’m saddened by the tragedy of this young man’s choices, but most of all I feel the call to action more today than ever before to fight for our children’s mental well-being.  We can’t fix the past but we can build a better future and I believe it starts with our children.

Did you hug your child today…just a bit tighter?
Did you tell them how special they are and how much you care?
Did you say I love you?
Do you listen to their dreams and wishes?
To their problems and fears?
Do you respect them?
Do you know how and where they are spending their time?
Are the activities those that you wish them to emulate?
Do you explain consequences and correct in a loving controlled manner?
Can you say yes often but no when you should?
Can you believe in them enough that they believe in themselves too?
Can you give enough room for them to be an unique individual?
Yet guide them away from the wrong path?
Can you teach them compassion and selflessness?
Will you dare to protect them from our society’s loss of values?

Our world is so sophisticated, filled with self indulgence, violence, greed and envy. But it is also filled with amazing people, opportunities and love.

We have to be alert and in tune with our children.  Love will conquer much but it cannot replace guidance.  Remember today that your innocent boy or girl will grow to become all that he or she has absorbed.  You only have a few years to build the foundation for the rest of their lives.  Choose what they play with, what they absorb carefully; it contributes more to their destiny than we could ever know.

May God heal those who were affected and give us wisdom to build a better path for our young.

Ellen Callen posted in support of affected families and memory of those lost.