Our choices influence risk of domestic violence
We are still reeling from the after-effects of senseless child death and gruesome "domestic" violence. We ask why and our clergy tell us we are not meant to know. Our Legislature searches for answers. But there are no easy ones. Tragically, there is no clarity due to political correctness.
People need to realize that child neglect, domestic violence and criminal behavior, while having multiple causes, often can be traced back to reckless intimacy. What do I mean by that? It is when a person becomes intimate sexually or romantically with another before getting to know them.
When we do not take the time to get to know the people with whom we become intimate, we increase the number of bad relationships. When we are not selective, we tend to end up with more multiple failed relationships. Over a lifetime, the faster we get involved, the more relationships we will tend to have and so ultimately the more bad relationships we will tend to have.
Another way of putting it is that you increase your chances of getting a bad boyfriend, bad girlfriend, bad husband, bad wife and bad exes when you rush in. And you ultimately increase your chances of having one of them seriously hurt or kill you.
Also, when we do not take the care or judgment to be selective, we obviously increase our chances of a bad relationship. We should value ourselves highly enough so that we do not give ourselves away to just anybody. One of those old-fashioned "stupid" prescreening questions is, will this potential lover be a good parent?
With multiple relationships come multiple children from multiple partners. Increasingly, our children will be reared by part-time parents, part-time lovers and ex-lovers going in and out of their lives distracted by their own children and stepchildren from their own multiple lovers and ex-lovers.
While we tell ourselves that we can handle it, we also force our young children to handle it. How many of our children grow up with that permanent pain of wondering what is so wrong or unlovable about them that their parent would rather spend time with their other or new child in another family far away?
And yes, we could say that we increase the number of people responsible for our children with the increase in multiple step-parents, lovers, ex-lovers and ex-extended family. But often when everyone is responsible, no one is -- because everyone passes the responsibility on to someone else until no one is actually looking out for the child.
The societal cost of reckless intimacy is staggering. A significant number of men in prison grew up not knowing their fathers or only having part-time fathers.
Traditional courting and traditional values no longer hold sway over a majority of our young people. Reckless sexual intimacy is encouraged by our media and entertainment industry. How many movies and sitcoms show couples having sex on the first meeting? In sitcoms, you meet; you are in love by 25 minutes and in bed together by 30.
I suspect that even some churches are giving up. While traditional marriage and courtship are still promoted, "living in sin" relationships are becoming more accepted without judgment within the church community.
Unfortunately, we have created quick-ticking time bombs since the children created from all these multiple relationships and ex-relationships, as teenagers and adults will have the same attitude toward intimacy as their parents.
But oh well, as long as we are free to do what we want at the moment -- to heck with the long-term
consequences and what our children will have to endure.
Leighton Loo lives in Mililani.