What is it about instilling fear in others that makes us feel, complete? We are taught to have faith in mankind yet are consistently disappointed. Showing your dominance over someone is an act reserved for the wilderness and I fear that so many are returning to that original stomping ground. Are we not supposed to progress? To advance? To do better?
Twice in one week, some of our learners have been subjected to acts of violence and threats of violence also. A student of ours was caught with a knife, his reasoning was admirable but here, these kids respond only to fear. You bring a knife, I bring a machete etc.
At the bus stop, a group of children was approached by tsotsis wielding a knife who wanted to take from them the little that they have. One of the boys in the group would not back down, he was protecting his brother and sister who are very young. These, thugs, these horrible men who are considerably older than our learners, promised to return. Subsequently, the boys decided that bringing something to defend themselves was the only way to proceed. Enter the knife.
Who am I to tell them that this is wrong? They live in the roughest neighbourhoods in Johannesburg and me, not even for a second, can put myself in their shoes, regardless of all the visits we have made to these areas. My duty was not to discipline but to educate, that a show of sincere bravery may end with a worse outcome than what walking way may have provided.
Anxiety makes me worry that one day, I am going to find out that they were attacked with a knife and that If they had one on them themselves, they may have avoided the altercation altogether. Welcome to my mind. Think the worst and make it a reality.