I Could Have Been Labeled a Terrorist

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Sometimes I feel like I live in an entirely different world than the one I grew up in. One thing I am greatly thankful for is that there wasn’t the sensitivity to threats of violence or stupid immature outbursts when I was a kid and teen. I think about how common it was when I was a kid to joke about “blowing up the school” when you were mad, or how easily we threw around the “I’m going to kill you!” threat. Of course, we didn’t really mean it, to us, it was just a way to express frustration…but if kid me were to make those comments today in school, I would likely be taken away in handcuffs.

I also think about a stupid reaction I had as a teenager to a betrayal by someone I had a huge crush on. This person I had a crush on had been sort of leading me on and making me think that we might have a future together. We worked together at Burger King, and he was a few years older than me, but probably not much more grown up. When I found out that he had been lying to me and was secretly in a romantic relationship with someone else we worked with, I was SUPER PISSED. Both of these people I worked with had pretty much lied right to my face about their relationship numerous times and one day at work I simply went off.

Everyone else was gossiping about their affair and I was pulled into the conversation. Several knew how I had felt about him and asked if I planned to do anything. Being someone who was viciously angry and has always had a dark sense of humor, I said maybe I should go set their house on fire with them inside. Then I remembered that the girl had a daughter and I corrected myself by saying I would make sure I got the little girl out first. It was a dark joke. Clearly not something I intended to do, just a way to let off steam. I have often thought though that if that were to happen in our world’s current climate, I seriously could have been arrested for making terrorism threats.

It is these memories I revisit when I see stories about kids getting expelled or investigated for making pretend guns out of Pop-Tarts, shouting something in anger, or making pretend shooting motions with their fingers. I think of how stupid and immature I used to be and how I lacked the wisdom to see the potential consequences of a rash, snide comment or playful dark humor. I certainly understand our world’s over-sensitivity to these things today, but I can’t help but think of how naively innocent I once was when I would foolishly spout off without thinking it through.

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8 thoughts on “I Could Have Been Labeled a Terrorist

  1. You can’t sneeze in today’s world without being labeled as something. It’s very frustrating. Part of the problem is kids really don’t have a way to release tension because if they do they’re in trouble, be it school, home or with the law. Granted, shooting up the school or explosives or arson, is no way either. It’s a very complicated situation.

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    1. Yes, indeed. I do understand why we have become so scared of any threat whatsoever, but it truly makes me sad to see kids punished severely for things that I once would have done without a second thought. It is a reminder of how unsafe the world has become…or at least how unsafe we perceive it to be.

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      1. Exactly! How unsafe we perceive it to be! Remember, when we were growing up, and I think I’m a bit older than you, there was no internet, no all day news channels. We went out, played with the other kids, we lived! Today, there is too much fear among us. How I’d love to live in that world again, seems so long ago.

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  2. I understand what you’re saying. Most kids spout off and that is all they do – they spout off. But there is no way to tell the difference between the kid who is just spouting off and not going to do anything and the kid who is spouting off and goes off the deep end and curse at people. How do we tell the difference between someone who is just spouting off or someone who is going to go shoot I hope bunch of kids in the local school? It is really a dilemma. I made Remarks about a prior president. Remark that could’ve had me arrested. But I made them in private to my husband. I could not post them on Facebook. I could not tell my friends or my classmates. That is one difference. We live in violent troubling times.

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  3. I am sorry. I did not edit my prior comment. I forgot that spellcheck changes my words and because my wrist is broken and in a cast I must dictate my words. So let me try again. Today, we cannot tell the difference between someone who threatens to kill people and someone who goes off the deep end and really kills people. There is so much violence in the news, and TV, and movies, and games our children play that the value of life has been almost deleted from modern society. I myself made remarks about a prior president that I did not like. I made threats in private to my husband. I did not post them on Facebook. I did not tell numerous people. I only told my husband. My husband knows me well enough to know that I was only spouting off. We are in a dilemma. We may go overboard to keep our children safe but we need to keep our children safe.

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    1. I understood your first comment fine, but thanks for clarifying. I do agree that we have to keep our children safe. I do think we sometimes go overboard and are overprotective, but in other ways we sometimes do foolish things that greatly endanger our kids. It is a scary world now.

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