Jan 032007

Bannerman was chatting to a friend this morning, about many issues, but one in particular which aligns with this article. Both B-man and his interlocutor are ‘baby-boomers’, inferring that both are long enough in the tooth to appreciate what proper parental responsibility, concern and control really means.

When Bannerman was 15 years of age, he was working for a major financial institution as the state’s chief shit-boy, go-fer and mail attendant. Bannerman didn’t indulge in what was then known as ‘Senior’ schooling, meaning grades eleven and twelve in Queensland. His parents couldn’t have afforded the inevitable University which follows ‘senior’ and Bannerman was at the stage where school had become monotonous anyway. This is how things were in Bannerman’s day. One made one’s own way in life. No reliance upon parents or others for support.

Back then – 1972 – Bannerman breasted the world educated with a mix of theoretical schooling from societies perception of what an education system should provide, plus an innate familial schooling in what was right and what was wrong when one faced the world at large. How one should treat one’s fellow human being, said human being’s property, what was acceptable in interactions with said fellow human beings and how one should conduct one’s self when in company with one’s fellow human beings. In short, Bannerman’s parents taught him how to be the responsible, concerned and aware individual that he is today. B-man doesn’t think they did too bad a job, as his own children are all excellent examples of responsible, forthright and concerned citizens within their own rights.

That’s not to say Bannerman’s parents had an easy job of it. No-one runs a full-time or even part-time training course in how to be a responsible parent, neither in Bannerman’s formative years, or today. T`would be wonderful for society in general if such a thing existed, but it doesn’t. All parents, Bannerman included, learn on the run, reliant upon the example provided by their own parents to set guidelines and rules for assimilation into society for their own children, tempered by what is deemed acceptable for society, by society at any given point in time.

That said, Bannerman does not recall any instances, during his callow youth, of fifteen year old boys murdering seventeen year old boys because it happened to be “how we roll in this town”. It would be very easy for Bannerman to point at the aboriginality of the perpetrators of this disgusting travesty, claiming a failure of government in providing suitable resources and backing for indigenous communities, resulting in the claimed boredom and restlessness of youth in western communities. However, Bannerman doesn’t, and has never regarded governments responsible for basic parental responsibilities. There may or may not have been some causal matter involved in this matter, but Bannerman thinks not. This issue is yet another example of a gradual breakdown of current society, created by a lack of understanding on the part of today’s parents of what that responsibility really means. All manner of excuses can be made, but the bottom line is drawn at the feet of the parents of the transgressors of societal laws.

The creation of a human life, either deliberate or inadvertent, holds the greatest responsibility for the creators that any two human beings can ever countenance. Said creators, if they choose to sustain that life and bring it into this experience, undertake, however tacitly, to educate that individual in the mores and laws of the society in which it must exist. Failure to suitably educate that individual and ensure it’s adherence with societies requirements while said individual remains within their sphere of influence, is tantamount to a crime worse that that committed by the two fifteen year olds in the above article. Put simply, the loosing of irresponsible, uncaring, discontent and generally sociopathic off-spring into a society which is ill-prepared to cater for it is the equivalent of sociocide in Bannerman’s estimation.

The murder of Andrew Farrugia is not the fault of the two fifteen year old boys who perpetrated the act. Nor is it the fault of the community or greater society they grew up within. The fault lies with the parents of the two boys involved, purely, simply and basically. Why were they where they were at 3:00am in the morning? Why did they have the angst to do what they did? Why did they do what they did? Bannerman can only relate to his own upbringing, and those of his peers. At 3:00am, Bannerman was almost always at home, in bed, asleep. When he wasn’t, his parents knew precisely where he was, and why. Bannerman never went anywhere, while residing within his parents domain, without letting his parents know where he was going, why and what time he would be home. Bannerman was rarely late, and purely because he knew that if he were, his parents would be concerned, usually unnecessarily, but concerned none the less. Such considerations appear to have fallen by the wayside, and sadly the fault must lie with a failure of generations of parents who have abrogated their responsibilities to the detriment of society at large.

This is how societies fail. This is how civilisations collapse in on themselves, because the core – parental responsibility – has gone to lunch.

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