Flowers in the rain

It’s 4:25 am on a Monday morning and I haven’t been to bed yet. After nursing a hangover in the afternoon, I went to dinner then came home and watched Gotham on Netflix. I had forgotten how hot Jada Picket-Smith is. She plays a very fierce crime boss in the show. The show made me think about the nature of good and evil. I wondered how little boys and girls grow up to become crime bosses and violent criminals. Are they born that way or does something happen to change them? I guess it’s a little bit of both. Not all criminals are from abusive homes. Some are well loved by their parents but find themselves in the life all the same. Although I don't condone senseless violence, I'm no one's moral judge. Each person must reconcile themselves with their own life as best they can. This thought wasn't about taking the moral high ground it was more of a curiosity.

One movie series that answers my question very well is Star Wars Episodes I – III. In the series we see the Anakin Skywalker grow up to become Darth Vader. He starts out kind but he begins to suffer from great emotional pain. Eventually that pain turns into violence, anger, and fear. As Yoda foretold, all of those lead to the dark side. Add that to the already explosive cocktail of teenaged hormones and all kinds of craziness can happen.

The movie also shows an instigator, an evil person who whispered in the ear of Anakin Skywalker and manipulated his emotions until he had turned him to the darkness. I wonder if he wasn’t responsible for having Anakin’s mother killed. As I watched the movie, I could see very clearly how this process probably happens in real life. I've seen these manipulators myself. They use flattery, gaslighting, and other psychological techniques to control their victim’s behavior. When my children were growing up, I used to show them this movie from time to time and point out the trickery of the instigator. I'd say to them, “Be careful of those who say too many sweet things. Sometimes kindness is kindness and sometimes it can be used to manipulate you.” I'm paraphrasing myself. I don't remember exactly what I said but it was something along those lines. I wasn’t trying to raise them to be afraid or distrustful but to be mindful and recognize danger before it has a chance to harm them. I'm not sure how much they listened or if they even remember. I hope they never have to remember they remember when they need it the most.

Children can be quite hardheaded sometimes and refuse to listen. At the times they could be like flowers soaking up the rain and waiting to grow. I am very grateful that both of them turned out to be kind-hearted and clever people.

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