Tag Archives: Children

Bullies, Suicide and “13 Reasons Why”

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to take a peek at “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix. And yes, I am well aware of all the negative commentary surrounding it.

However, one thing I will say, is that I thought the series was well done. The writing, story, acting, and cinematography is superb.

“13 Reasons Why” is about a smart, pretty teenager named Hannah Baker who begins attending a new school, and becomes a target after a guy she liked took a photo of her coming down a slide. He decides to show the revealing photo to his jock buddies, and one of them thought it was a perfectly good idea to text it to everyone in the school.

Credit: Bully | by Jonathon Narvey | Flickr Creative Commons

It was disheartening to watch how these teenagers relentlessly bully her after that photo was sent. She did her best to cope with the cruelty that bombarded her on a daily basis. But things took a turn for the worst, when the same guy who texted the photo, raped her.

After this occurred, as a last resort, she visits with her school counsellor, which unfortunately, made matters worse. It was after this meeting, she decided to take her life. But before she does, she records 13 cassette tapes, leaving messages for everyone she holds responsible, except for one, her friend Clay Jensen.

The critics say “13 Reasons Why” glorifies rape and suicide. But I disagree. I believe the producers intention was to shock people into awareness and create a conversation to propel change.

I understand why some people wouldn’t want their small children watching it. However, I believe it should be viewed by parents and teenagers alike because of its important message.

I understand all too well about triggers, however, there is more violence in “The Walking Dead” than there is in “13 Reasons Why.” So, is it perfectly okay for kids to watch stuff like “The Walking Dead,” but not okay for them to be educated on a real and prevalent issue, such as bullying, rape and suicide?

Statistics say, suicide is the third leading cause of death in America between the ages of 10 to 24. Did you know every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and every 8 minutes, it’s a child?

The story of “13 Reasons Why” reminds me of a YouTube video I watched several years ago of a girl who was being bullied. She made this video before she ended her life. Her name was Amanda Todd. She was just one of many who kill themselves because they see no other way out of their situation.

Just recently, I came across a story on Facebook of an eight year old boy from Ohio who committed suicide because of the relentless bullying he endured. Why hadn’t the school stepped in and stopped it? Why is bullying allowed or ignored in our public schools? Why aren’t changes being instituted to insure the safety of our children attending school?

Yet, the critics are up in arms about “13 Reasons Why.” I don’t understand. Don’t they see what is going on? Aren’t they aware of the epidemic? Aren’t they paying attention to what is happening to our children in schools across America?

Yes, the content is graphic, but so is the reality. Parents and victims of bullies need to see and understand the damage it causes. Not turn a blind eye or pretend it isn’t happening. No one can afford to ignore this problem anymore.

Parents, children, principals, teachers…everyone has a part to play. Parents can’t leave parenting up to the schools, because the schools can’t do it. However, I do believe schools need to send a strong message that bullying won’t be tolerated. There needs to be accountability and a better security system in place.

It is a shame our schools have to turn into a juvenile detention center instead of being an institution for learning.

Awareness and knowledge is the first step, and I believe “13 Reasons Why” accomplished that. Now the rest is on us. Instead of protesting, debating and disagreeing about this series, why not use the energy to be proactive in spreading awareness and helping to stop bullying which is claiming the lives of our youth.

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The Glimpse by Grant Carroll

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Child Refuge Publishing (July 9, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615644783
ISBN-13: 978-0615644783
Price: $9.97
Purchase: Amazon

www.theglimpsebook.com


 

 

 


The Dream

In 2007, God gave Grant Carroll a critical end times message for the American church through a chilling dream his wife had. Not long after, he began to notice uncanny similarities between the dream and real world events happening to Christians in the news. Grant felt led to turn the dream into a piece of Christian fiction that would grab people’s attention, so they would understand the dire warning of coming persecution, before it’s too late. That story is called The Glimpse, and it’s for youth, young adults, parents,church leaders and the Christian Church at large. Its message is for you.

Description

Would you hold on to faith…if all seemed lost? Austin, Lizzie, Daniel and Jackie are four believers in Christ who are missing something in their spiritual walk, something they can’t find on their own. They see the church dying around them, and they desperately grasp for answers.

Without warning, they are supernaturally transported to a place that looks and feels like the United States they know, but only at first glance. They soon learn that it’s a fascist nation in which Christians and all who oppose the government are severely persecuted. They encounter a small group of teenage believers, secretly persecuted. They encounter a small group of teenage believers, secretly meeting in a high school basement. The believers take them in, and the four friends get a glimpse of a world where the church is almost dead, and faith is all that keeps believers alive.

Along with the group’s leader Eric Peterson, they work to help the fledgling church survive and grow, but danger awaits them at every turn. The clandestine NSA and the National Police have eyes and ears everywhere. It’s a fight to survive, and to find a way home… if there is one.

Review

When the author Grant Carroll emailed me to request if I would be willing to read and review this book, I sensed the Lord nudging me to do so. I am glad I heeded.

The Glimpse is a book every Christian in America should read. As stated above in the description, the author wrote this book as a result of his wife having a prophetic dream.

Before Mr. Carroll contacted me, the Lord had been revealing to me through Scripture, prayer and dreams how our youth is a target of the enemy. The situation is increasingly getting worse in homes, schools and neighborhoods across America.

Although this book is written as fiction, there is much truth being revealed. The Glimpse is prophetic. God is warning His church through the message of this book.

Grant Carroll is an excellent writer and The Glimpse is a timely message.

I highly recommend this book and encourage everyone to read it. You won’t be able to put it down.

Grant Carroll is a freelance writer, playwright, poet and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He is a devoted husband and a father of four. Grant and his wife Nikki are founders of Child Refuge, a non-profit ministry with the goal of fighting for the innocence of our children and their future. His prayer is for his life and writing to impact the world for Christ.

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What Does Giving Look Like?

When I was growing up, giving looked like a table full of  home made food. My family toiled at making delicious dishes while I delighted in the aromas that filled the house.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Now that I’m older and have a family of my own, I try to emulate my family’s tradition.

My father is a chef. He grew up in a poor fishing village. As a child he suffered terrible hunger and poverty.

He would always tell me stories about his childhood. How there was no food and many times he would go to bed hungry.

I learned about poverty through my father. I grew up privileged in the sense that I had a roof over my head, food to eat and clothing on my back.

Cooking was an act of giving in our home. My father grew up not having food, so he always made it a point to feed the homeless. He never forgot where he came from.

My father’s life and example taught me to be compassionate toward others in need. Which is why I love supporting organizations like Compassion International. They are doing a wonderful work helping children in need.

Right now, they are having a campaign to raise $20,000 for children living in poverty. If you would like to sponsor a child or donate to the Compassion International Christmas Catalog, please click here.

What does giving look like to you?

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Heart Strings

I have had the blessing of traveling a great deal in the past.  I visited several countries and have seen poverty at it’s worst.  Nothing breaks my heart more than witnessing homeless and hungry children, especially orphans.

Photograph by Chan Kwok Hung

This photo speaks a multitude, doesn’t it?  This world can be such a cruel place. How I wish something could been done to help save every child and preserve their innocence.

There are times I feel helpless and overwhelmed, like tonight for instance. I was walking crosstown on 42nd Street to catch my bus home.

As I was walking, I took in my surroundings; the rhythm, activity and energy of rush hour.

Until something caught my eye that caused me to stop in my tracks. I remained frozen, watching, pondering whether I should go do something.

This moment reminded me of an incident I read in Jeff Goins’ new book, Wrecked. I knew I had to make a choice.

Suddenly a man spoke and snapped me out of my trance. I guess he noticed my struggle. He tells me, “Your heart strings are being tugged, huh?” I said, “Yes.”  He nodded in understanding.

Right then, I decided to walk over to her. This young woman who was pregnant sitting on the hot concrete floor with a toddler. She must have been no more than twenty-five years old. I asked her if she needed help.

She didn’t speak English. She said something which sounded like Spanish.  However, when she responded again, I realized it wasn’t Spanish, but more like Portuguese or Italian.

She wanted me to give her money. I told her I didn’t want to give her money. She said she needed diapers. I said I would go buy her diapers if she wanted. She agreed for me to get her diapers.

I asked, what size, she tells me size four. For the life of me, I don’t know how we were able to understand each other, it had to have been the Holy Spirit.

She tells me she would wait for me in the same spot for only twenty minutes. So I take off in a hurry to the nearest place I could find and bought diapers. I also bought her a few other items so she could feed her child who looked dirty, hungry and tired. I especially felt compassion for her child.

The city was so hot. I’m sure this poor child was outside all day in the heat while her mother begged.

When I returned she was there waiting. I handed her the bag and she thanked me.

What was most beautiful to me was the reaction on the little girl’s face. She pointed to the bottle of water and looked up at me with a big smile. She seemed genuinely appreciative. I grabbed her little hand and smiled at her too. My heart swelled with love for that child. I so badly wanted to protect her.

I looked into the pregnant mother’s eyes and told her Jesus loved her. I also told her to be careful and to take good care of herself and the baby. I just hope she really understood what I said.

I arrived home very somber. I began thinking about all the homeless mothers and children living in the streets of New York City and around the world. My heart hurts for them.

This tug never goes away. I guess it serves as reminder to never forget.

I wonder how things would be if every Christian from around the world stopped to help and encourage one person each day?

What do you think would happen?  I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

 

 

 

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