Innocence Lost

“Every life is march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice”.
~Lyman Abott

Children today seem to be fast losing their innocence in line with their senior counterparts losing patience. Almost everyday, I find myself reading news about minors involved in crimes which were supposedly committed by adults alone. Abduction, extortion and homicide are no longer “Don’t Do’s” in minors’ list. Children being used in and being forced into terrorist activities and petty crimes is another story, whereas minors committing crimes on their own accord is a different story altogether. What I am talking about is the latter.

Leave alone the other parts of the country or the world, I am shocked to learn about incidents from my home State. There was incident of a high school “love triangle” where one boy killed another. In another a group of high school boys kidnapped one of their juniors and demanded a huge ransom from his parents. When the father could not cough up the money, the boy was chopped down to pieces. What kind of a conscience does those school going kids have that allowed them to commit such a gruesome act. Today’s newspaper features a news that in one town three minors were arrested for raping and then burning a 14-year-old girl. While young boys take the path of violence, young girls  play the role of call-girls (yes, by choice) after classes. Such cases are not new in history, but definitely on the rise in the recent times. Children today are a sad lot.

Motive of majority of such isolated incidents involve money. Why do today’s kids need so much money? I feel the answer is linked to the ever-increasing consumerism and the peer pressure to maintain a certain life style. Parents with money give a handsome monthly allowance to their kids. And the reason they put for such extravagance is that they in their times could not enjoy enough because of lack of money and so want their children to make the most of their lives (in terms of having fun and spend money however they want). But sadly, they do not bother to monitor what their children are up to. Kids today need the latest gadgets, have to jump into the latest fashion band-wagon, give treats only in international (at least national!) retail food outlets and go out on expensive dates. And while such kids roam around showing off their branded clothes and latest gadgets, the not so privileged ones do not want to be left out. And hence the answer to their irrational behaviour.

Another reason behind such behaviour I feel is the early exposure to literally anything and everything. Thanks to television and internet, children today are exposed to violence, sex and monetary luxuries from the moment they are born. Children are increasingly faking their age to sign up for social networking sites. On such sites, one can find kids as young as 10 years using abusive language. They are smarter than their parents and can easily breach child locks on both television and internet. Given the circumstances, it is not surprising that we find children around us behaving more and more like adults.

Consumerism, pampering parents and early exposure to the adult world are slowing sucking out the celebrated innocence of children. Being a witness to the depletion of innocence is saddening. In this troubling world, children are meant to be the solace. If even these apostles of innocence fall, where are we supposed to go.

“It may part of a one way evolution… or it may be we are currently on the downside of an innocence cycle where one day, with an up cycle, sweet will be entertaining again”.
~Christopher Knight 

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