A moment of random unanswered questions

by beagooddad on September 11, 2006

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I’ve been reading a lot of stuff about 9/11 today.  Everybody seems to have a need to talk about it.  5 years is a lot of time to heal a lot of pain.

A lot of people still want the terrorists killed.  Apparently, 5 years is not enough for what Bin Laden did.

I was listening to Howard Stern on the way home from work.  He was replaying his broadcast from 9/11/02, exactly one year after the ordeal.  Everybody that called in, including Michael J. Fox, wanted the terrorists killed.

I have very mixed feelings about the whole situation.  I managed to avoid ever getting in a fight throughout my entire life.  I was punched on three separate occasions in my life.  I just looked at the attacker and was forunate enough that they backed down.

I was also in the military from 1995 to 1999 and worked as an Arabic linguist.  I understand why the military exists.

Here is my question for parents.  What do you say to your kids when they ask about how we should handle the following three situations.

  1. Our country is attacked by a bully named Osama Bin Laden.
  2. People in a large city are attacked by a bully with a rifle shooting passerbys while hiding in his car.
  3. Your kid getting beat up by the bully in school.

I understand the difference of scale for each of the events, but how do we teach our kids to try to handle situations with the school bully in a civilized manner when our first response to more severe situations is that we instantly demand that our police/military be used to kill the bully?

I understand the difference in scale and peril between the first two and the last.  But, how do we make our kids understand the difference when they are in a situation where their biggest concern becomes getting through the hallways and making it home from school without getting beat up.  Will their generation have trouble handling the difference as they get older because of our reactions now?

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