The Journey 174:
Read: Amos 8
A 68-year-old lady, a grandmother named Karen Klein is getting nationwide attention and people from all corners of life and from every state is supporting her. Who is Karen Klein and why is she getting this support?. Karen Klein is a school bus monitor and this week as she travelled on Bus 784, through the streets of Greece, New York, on Monday afternoon, a group of seventh graders started abusing her and mercilessly taunting her. The verbal abuse was captured in a 10-minute cell phone video recorded by a student of Athena Middle School in suburban Rochester and later posted to YouTube. The video shows Klein trying her best to ignore the stream of profanity, insults and outright threats directed at her. The video logged more than 2 million views by Thursday evening, breaking hearts and raising passions of people who recalled bullying in their own pasts. A Toronto man set up a fund raiser for this grandmother of eight and one cannot believe that till today they could raise about $450,000. People have started demanding harsh punishment for the boys. According to Greece Police Capt. Steve Chatterton who said on Thursday, that the abuser students have received death threats while their families have also been threatened. Police sources say that they have custody of one of their cell phones, and he had over 1,000 missed calls and 1,000 text messages threatening him. Klein is overawed by the support that she has received through letters, emails, Facebook messages and feels awesome about it. But for Klein, she does not want the abusers to be punished but hopes that their parents will talk to them about being a little more respectful to the elders. Seventh graders have no qualms in taunting and abusing a lady who is four times elder to them?. What do you call these behavior pattern? More than the behavior I believe, these types of socially deviant behavior, shows also the signs of rottenness that has crept in our society, where individual rights and individualism are emphasized at the cost of community living, and community values.
This week we are meditating on the theme “ Transformation in our community” based on the book of Amos. The portion that we shall use for our meditation is from Amos 8. This is another portion in the book of Amos where the prophet condemns the people of Israel for their sins. The sins that they commit are sins of insensateness. The people have no conscience, and they have no problem in oppressing the weak and the poor. The irony of the whole issue is that the people of Israel who are strong and mighty, are trampling on the weak, showing through that an attitude of arrogance and also total insensitivity to the needs of the people who cannot stand for their rights and for themselves. Rather than being a support for them, the strong and the mighty oppresses them and they seem to enjoy this sadistic oppression. I think history is repeated today. As a grandmother is taunted by the seventh graders, they tend derive a sadistic pleasure out of the whole episode. At an age when the kids needed to be taught and to practice how to respect the elders and also be compassionate to weak and the old, kids who are the future of a nation is the one who becomes abusers. This whole episode is frightening when you think as to what is going to happen to our society and to the nation if this is the type of kids that are being raised in this nation. But behind this behavior we may also need to analyze why they behaved in such bullying manner, but then that is a totally different issue. As Christians let us be sensitive to the needs of the elders, the weak and the helpless so that through our attitude of sensitivity we build up a community where even the weak, the poor and the old have a rightful place