This is my first post, and I was inspired to write something after reading this story about former NFL player Brian Holloway. It’s my understanding that while Mr. Holloway lives in Florida, he has a vacation home in upstate New York. Over Labor Day weekend, Mr. Holloway was alerted by one of his children that their vacation home had been broken into, and hundreds of teenagers were partying and destroying the home. The story came to light as some of the party-goers posted photos of their behavior and activity online, and bragged about what was going on via Twitter.
Shortly after, Mr. Holloway created a web site and shared about the incident, including re-posting numerous tweets and Twitter accounts from those guilty of participating in the break-in party. His goal was not only to request that his stolen possessions (one of which was a headstone for a deceased grandchild) be returned, but also to give these young people an opportunity to right their wrong by returning to help clean up the mess they left. He was ready to forgive these children. Sadly, only ONE parent had brought his/her child to the scene of the crime to make amends and teach the child a lesson about being accountable for one’s actions.
But the truly sad part of the story for me is learning that some of the parents of the teens involved are considering a lawsuit AGAINST Mr. Holloway. The idea and very thought of this action is outrageous and unbelievable to me. Here is a man who has had his property stolen and destroyed. Yet, he still has love enough in his heart to forgive these kids if they would only do the right thing and return his belongings, come back to help clean up and repair the damage that they’ve done. And these parents want to sue HIM?!? I shake my head. I can’t even begin to understand. Their claim that he has essentially damaged these kids’ reputations, good images and chances of going to a good college by re-posting their tweets to his web site and making it available to the public are ridiculous beyond belief. First, they did that themselves. Second, it shows a collective of parents who are entirely out of touch from the world in which their kids live. Those kids made their lives publicly available, and their actions and intentions available, when they chose to post those photos and comments to Twitter. It was only a matter of time before media found those tweets and reported themselves.
And here is a gi-normous opportunity for the parents to teach their children a valuable life lesson that when you make a mistake, you need to own up to it. Fix it. But instead, they’ve chosen to take the low road. “You know what, son? When you make a mistake, don’t worry. We’ll sue the pants off the other person so you don’t look like the bad guy.” What kind of parenting is this?
I read through some of the tweets from Mr. Holloway’s web site, and the one that stood out to me most was a tweet from a kid named Chris Warren, who said, “so glad my parents don’t give a f*$% what I do.” I hope that doesn’t mean they’ve given you a golden ticket to commit murder.
What these kids did was wrong, absolutely. I understand they’re teenagers, and teenagers do stupid things. Heck, I was a stupid teen when I was a kid. But I guarantee you, had that been me, my parents would have dragged my butt over there so fast and made me clean everything twice. On top of that, they probably would have offered my services to Mr. Holloway’s upcoming Veterans’ luncheon and made sure I learned my lesson. These parents sadly don’t see their own responsibility to raise their children to become responsible and moral citizens. Suing Mr. Holloway for further exposing what their kids did to him only demonstrates their own irresponsibility. If the parents can’t take responsibility for their own kids, how the hell are the kids supposed to understand they need to take responsibility for their own actions?
This is not an isolated incident either. I think we’ve seen one too many stories lately about kids partaking in deviant behavior and then bragging about it to the world via photos and ignorant comments. Clearly, a generation has lost a sense of decency and moral compass. And in time, this is a generation that will lead our country. Our politicians right now already behave like children. I’m afraid to imagine what my country will look like when this generation does come of age.