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Thread: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

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    United States Avalon Member Strat's Avatar
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    Default Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    I spend a lot of time outside the house roaming the suburbs. I walk by myself, I walk with the dog, I run and I ride the bike. As a result I randomly come in contact with all walks of life. Including kids.

    I like to think I'm a kind person and I help those in need. However given the society we live in, I don't help kids, which is a shame. Years ago a group of kids would knock on my door if their go kart stopped working and I'd fix it for them. I think they moved cause I haven't seen them or the go kart in over a decade.

    Anyway, as I grew older I thought it's probably not wise to be around kids I don't know. There are too many creeps in this world. I don't have any kids but I have a niece, and if someone looks at her without my permission then I will gag them, hang them upside down from my winch and beat them with a baseball bat as a warning. Well, maybe not, but you know what I mean.

    It's a shame cause I'm a good hearted person but I have to act aloof around children. Years ago I was jogging and I came across 2 young boys trying to get the chain back on their bike. One had skinned knees, clearly he fell, and they were struggling to get it working.

    Maybe 1 year ago I was walking my dog by a church when the daycare kids were out in the playground playing. 2 adorable little girls ran to the fence giggling (clearly, life hasn't stepped on their souls yet) asking to pet my dog. I said, "Sorry he's a little rough" and kept walking. They kept asking, I don't remember what they said, but I ignored them and kept walking. It makes me feel anti social and weird but I feel like I made the right decision.

    And just today as I was driving to the library, again I see kids trying to get their bike working. This time a very young girl, maybe 8ish, and I assume her young teenage babysitter (half interested and texting on her phone). The young one waved, I waved and kept driving. I could fix the bike in half a second but there is no way in hell I'm stopping.

    So how about you guys? Thoughts?
    That's life, and I can't deny it
    Many times I thought of cuttin' out but my heart won't buy it

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    Netherlands Avalon Member Dick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    There’s nothing wrong with helping each other, including kids.
    If you’re doing nothing wrong, why worry, it’s the least you can do if someone needs help.
    Here in our street our doorbell seems like a magnet, they always come here if there’s something going on.
    Or maybe we are, i don’t know, but if someone needs help, young or old, if i can help i do.
    And thats what you should do to, if you feel you have to.

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    Belgium Moderator Johan (Keyholder)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    It is not so difficult to understand your predicament Strat! Whether in the US or in Europe or in many other places in the world, your question would most probably be answered with a very quick "no". Too risky.

    In other parts of this globe, the matter of helping would not even be a subject, because "there" kids are used as slaves, as goods, as unvoluntary "organdonors" (think favellas in some big cities in South America), as sexworkers (to save their starving families for instance; already in 1989 I saw this in Chiang Mai in Thailand. Dozens of young girls sitting on benches inside a house, waiting for the next "customer"; I wonder what the situation is today).

    In other countries children are forced to marry against their will (at very young ages) or in 27 or more countries, FGM (for those that don't know what it is, there are four types and I really don't want to describe them, but here is a good link with a summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_mutilation). In 2016 some 200 MILLION women had undergone this "procedure", almost all of them as children.

    I could go on. But what I want to say is that this world today is a world of polarities, in just about everything. What most people have forgotten is that BALANCE is something that has disappeared in so many places. We can ask "why?" of course, and the answer to that is a potential thread on its own: "Why is balance disappearing faster than the icecaps in our world today?".

    Over here, in Belgium, we may still be able to help out a young person here and there. But we have had "Dutroux". And other cases like him. So people have become careful about whŕt they can do for a child that is not their own (or even, their own). Over here though, I think that most people would help the boys with the bike and let the girls pet their dog. They would not get hit for it or put in jail. Yet.

    But that is not only the case for young people. Most men of any age will be very careful before giving any woman any compliment. There are of course good reasons why the whole MeToo movement was started, but again, where is the BALANCE? I don't blame anyone for starting the movement, but I do think that because "our world" lacks maturity in general, these situations can arise and grow out of proportion.

    This can almost be said about any movement. Especially those that are "launched" on social platforms and media. But not just there alone.

    In my opinion (and please note that this is my opinion and my opinion only!), everything boils down to a loosing sight of BALANCE. Mainly because we have become so mesmerized and (mis)guided by "the media" (most people anyway) that we have lost all sense of proportion, all reason and especially our OWN personal ideas and values (if you ask that question to anyone on the street, you most likely will get a pre-chewed slogan they heard somewhere and not coming out of their own heart).

    Thanks Strat for starting this thread! It should give a lot of people "food for thought".
    Last edited by Johan (Keyholder); 7th October 2020 at 20:11.

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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Strat
    This is a real dilemma for people that are social and like to interact openly and honestly with others. Parents have been trained to be overprotective and to treat all unknown males as suspects. While there is some merit in this overprotective approach it does deprive children of some potentially great and constructive friendships. It might be best to get to know the parents of the neighborhood kids (if that is possible). Also, I would not hesitate to offer kids help on the side of the road if it were needed. Better for you to fix their bike and send them on their way instead of a stranger stopping to offer help by putting the kid and the bike in their car.

    This story will not make you feel any better, quite the contrary, but it will provide some justification for parental fears. Years ago I travelled almost all the time. I was called to make an international trip on very short notice. When I went to grab my passport I noticed that it was going to expire before I returned. I went to Washington DC and spent three hours in line at the passport office on K street. In front of me was a retired executive about 65 years old. Said he had retired from the publishing industry and his passport had expired. He lived most of the year in his home in Costa Rica. He was a friendly, delightful, well-spoken and a well-informed guy. Long story short he was arrested two night later trying to leave the country. He was the head of a large international paedophilia ring. He was eventually charged and convicted of the murder of a 10-year-old child. I consider myself a fairly good judge of character but this guy slid right under my radar.

    To a certain extent this had a life-changing impact on my relationship with my children (they were young at the time), I drilled into them our address, our telephone number, what to do in case of an emergency. I was very reluctant to let my children have overnights unless it was at our house and I never let them out of my sight again. Only years of therapy have gotten my children over my insane protectiveness......just kidding.

    By the way I never told them about this experience.

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    Avalon Member Satori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    If the opportunity presents itself, and especially if your intuition tells you so; help kids, help animals, help older people, help people in general. We should be who you are and not let our left brain override our right brain and our sense of right and wrong and deter us from lending a helping or playful hand to a child, or anyone.

    I believe sincere people can tell when an adult is being helpful or playful with children, versus when an adult (usually a male, but not always) is being a creep.

    The OP reminds me of an event I experienced, with an elderly lady, not a child, but who was child-like:

    A few years ago when driving home from work one afternoon I came to one of the busiest and accident prone intersections in Albuquerque. I was going to make a left turn in the left turn lane. The traffic light was red for me so I stopped. There, near the island in the center of the intersection, but nearly in the lane of the traffic that was coming from my left, was an elderly lady. She was just standing there. Not on the island, not in the walk lane, but in a place that put her at risk. She was "frozen." Not moving. It appeared she was uncertain about what she should do, which way she should go... So, I turned off my engine, left the car in the left turn lane and walked out into the intersection where she was. All of the cars, from all directions stopped, watched and waited. The lights were turning from red to green, no one moved. I felt and saw all eyes on me and the old lady.

    When I got to her, I could she she was quite elderly. She was somewhat crouched over. She was clearly confused and disoriented. I offered to assist her across the street and see to it that she got safely where she was going. I even gently and slowly reached for her.

    Her words to me took me by surprise, at the time, but having pondered on it since then what she said is not surprising. She sternly said: "Leave me alone." I then tried to appeal to her as gently as I could to allow me to get her across the street and out of the intersection. She then said: "You do what you want to do and I'll do what I want to do." That's verbatim.

    All the while the drivers are patiently waiting and watching. No one was honking horns or cursing to get going.

    I tried again to persuade her to let me help her cross the street. She repeated the same phrase about doing what she wants to do. I considered literally picking her up and carrying her to the other side of the street in the direction she was facing. But, I was concerned she would struggle and I would hurt her trying to hold on to her. Or, she would wiggle free and I would drop her. Several scenarios crossed my mind, including that if I did get her across the street she would turn around and step back into the intersection in front of oncoming traffic.

    I do not know for sure how much time passed, but it was several minutes and traffic lights cycled between green to red, but eventually I decided the best thing to do was to leave her where she was.

    As I walked away a woman in her car nearest to the action, so-to-speak, and who could see and hear everything, consoled me by assuring me that I tried and had done all I could do. I hope so.

    I felt bad, but I am certain nothing happened to her.

    I believe that she was a "walker" or "wanderer" from a nearby nursing home or assisted living facility who suffered from dementia or Alzheimer's. Such poor souls can be very head-strong, to the point of being oppositional and deviant at times and thereby be a danger to themselves and, unintentionally, others.

    I think of that event in my life on occasion. If that or something like it happens again, and it has (burning car with adults, burning car with children inside, infant waling into the street...), I would still lend a helping hand.
    Last edited by Satori; 7th October 2020 at 22:21.

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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Is it possible, Strat, to have the parents get to know you first?
    For example, if a kid's bike needs repaired, offer to do so at the kid's home; bring some tools, and introduce yourself to the parents.

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    United States Avalon Member Strat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Quote Posted by Alecs (here)
    Is it possible, Strat, to have the parents get to know you first?
    For example, if a kid's bike needs repaired, offer to do so at the kid's home; bring some tools, and introduce yourself to the parents.
    I don't want to get to know anybodies kids. The issue at hand is I help people on the fly but children get excluded because I feel as though if I had kids I wouldn't want random adults coming up to them and having a dialogue with them in every day life. I suppose if I lived in a rural area where everybody knows everybody this wouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't say I live in a densely populated area but in my local little city it's 22 square miles with a population of 23k people. On top of that there are tourists everywhere since it's a popular beach town. The suburbs I live in are relatively safe, but not that safe.
    That's life, and I can't deny it
    Many times I thought of cuttin' out but my heart won't buy it

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    Australia Avalon Member Constance's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Great thread topic Strat!

    I just happily mind my own business until duty finds me. and when it does, just like Satori, I allow my intuition to guide me.

    The saying, "if in doubt, stay out" is something I stand by. So if I have even one tiny moment of hesitation or doubt about a situation, it is an instant "no" for me and I will walk away.

    I have to say that every time I have acted outside of my intuition, the universe kicks me up the backside, so I now have to pay attention at all times.

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    United States Moderator Sarah Rainsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Quote Posted by Strat (here)
    Quote Posted by Alecs (here)
    Is it possible, Strat, to have the parents get to know you first?
    For example, if a kid's bike needs repaired, offer to do so at the kid's home; bring some tools, and introduce yourself to the parents.
    I don't want to get to know anybodies kids. The issue at hand is I help people on the fly but children get excluded because I feel as though if I had kids I wouldn't want random adults coming up to them and having a dialogue with them in every day life. I suppose if I lived in a rural area where everybody knows everybody this wouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't say I live in a densely populated area but in my local little city it's 22 square miles with a population of 23k people. On top of that there are tourists everywhere since it's a popular beach town. The suburbs I live in are relatively safe, but not that safe.
    I would not be happy with some random adult coming up and striking up a conversation with my kids. But that is NOT the same as a random adult helping them out or replying to them, when asked first as in the case with the dog, or even telling them something they need to know. The first, to me, is suspicious. The rest is polite and normal, and is pretty much how neighborhoods work around here.

    Okay: adult helping kids when they need it
    Okay: adult approaching kids to tell them to stop stomping all over their grass (or whatever)
    Okay: adult saying "hi" as they pass each other on the street, or stopping to comment or pet the kids' dog if invited
    Not Okay: adult randomly striking a conversation with kids for some weird reason


    Strat, in all the situations you describe, I would have no problems at all with you approaching my kids.
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    Avalon Member Orph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Quote Posted by Sarah Rainsong (here)

    Strat, in all the situations you describe, I would have no problems at all with you approaching my kids.
    That's all fine-and-dandy, but keep in mind, there's a lot of people that don't think the way you do. In other words, common sense. See the 'Karen' thread for people with a lack of common sense. It's real.

    Where I live, many years ago, a man was accused of child molestation. He was thrown in jail but couldn't afford bail. So he had to stay in jail while the investigation took place. Two freaking years later the investigation finally concluded that no molestation took place. It was all a child's wild imagination, which was helped along with some prodding and 'leading' questions by the adults and investigators. So he was released. But he lost everything. His name and picture was plastered all over the news media as he was dragged through the mud and labeled a child molester. Absolute devastation.

    I realize this may be an extreme case, but, .... it really doesn't take all that much for an accusation to be made and an innocent man to be thrown in jail. Even if that man is only in jail for say, 72 hours, and then released, the damage is done. His good name is forever tarnished. As a single man, no way am I taking that chance. Only if that child is in imminent physical danger. Otherwise, I walk on by.
    I am enlightened, ............ Oh wait. That's just the police shining their spotlights on me.

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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    I recently saw a special on tv on mister rodgers, one part of the segment had many of the shows crew sit down and were asked to think of the people in their lives that have helped them along the way that truly made an impact on their lives. The love and humility of expression without a word being said from person to person in that clip was so embracing , the deep love and admiration of gratitude was communicated as you watched each crew member just sit and think and remember. It was one of the coolest most inspiring things I have ever seen . I swear you could do an entire movie of people just watching what energy comes out when being asked who helped you?. Truly beautiful.

    As for myself, came from a broken home, parents divorced, really evil stepfather, he thru a bowl of mashed potatoes over my head one time at the dinner table and as I was washing that crap out of my hair in the shower he broke down the down to beat me up some more. Had 5 cops pull him off of me. That was over 40 years ago. And that being has since assumed room temperature where he belongs. But along my life I've always had people along the way help me out, A lady that owned a drug store put me up for weeks at her house when I ran away from home. The neighbors used to leave their door wall open when things got crazy in my house as a kid so I would sneak over there to go to sleep. I met an electrician at 14 years old who put me to work cleaning, working on cars, and doing electrical, Then there was a gentlemen who hired me at 14 to work at their welding shop too. Eventually gave me a vehicle to drive and learned so much from this man named Nic, really loved that guy for everything he did for me. He even let me use his lincoln town car for a high school event to take this girl out on for a date at 16. I had so many help me along the way just because. I eventually graduated from high school and went into the Military for 4 years and made sergeant in 2 years.

    Why am I telling you all this, because since I left the military I have been an employer of a business I started from the ground up and over the last 35 years I have employed over 700 people. I've always had a few young men that were still in high school work thru the school programs at my business that allowed them to work in an industrial environment , make some money and yes grow up. I have 2 high school graduates now that work with me at my welding shop and it will be time for them to leave soon, and again and I will be taking on more new kids who want to learn a trade to get them going. You don't have to own a business to help these kids out, all you need to do is just show some interest in them and respect and watch them grow. I guess in a way i'm trying to pay it forward all of special individuals in my life that helped me get to where I am today. It is my hope that by what I am doing with all these kids past, present and future will have longstanding results in a good way for many futures to come. You can and do make an impact and you do make a difference as I am a product of all those who helped me

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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Quote Posted by Orph (here)
    Quote Posted by Sarah Rainsong (here)

    Strat, in all the situations you describe, I would have no problems at all with you approaching my kids.
    That's all fine-and-dandy, but keep in mind, there's a lot of people that don't think the way you do. In other words, common sense. See the 'Karen' thread for people with a lack of common sense. It's real.

    Where I live, many years ago, a man was accused of child molestation. He was thrown in jail but couldn't afford bail. So he had to stay in jail while the investigation took place. Two freaking years later the investigation finally concluded that no molestation took place. It was all a child's wild imagination, which was helped along with some prodding and 'leading' questions by the adults and investigators. So he was released. But he lost everything. His name and picture was plastered all over the news media as he was dragged through the mud and labeled a child molester. Absolute devastation.

    I realize this may be an extreme case, but, .... it really doesn't take all that much for an accusation to be made and an innocent man to be thrown in jail. Even if that man is only in jail for say, 72 hours, and then released, the damage is done. His good name is forever tarnished. As a single man, no way am I taking that chance. Only if that child is in imminent physical danger. Otherwise, I walk on by.
    This is true. But I did also say this is pretty much how it works in my neighborhood. In my experience, kids are more likely to be the subject of abuse (usually by people they know, not random strangers) than an adult is likely to be falsely accused.

    Regardless, life is full of seemingly innocuous events that end with catastrophic consequences. Everyone has heard of that one time so-and-so did this common and thing and then died. So does one decide to let the rare catastrophe stop you from doing something? There's a juggling act between acceptable risk and not acceptable, which only the individual can decide.
    Last edited by Sarah Rainsong; 8th October 2020 at 16:34. Reason: typo
    The world is changed... I feel it in the water... I feel it in the earth... I smell it in the air...
    Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

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    Moderator/Guide
     
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Dearest Pyrangello,
    Thank you for sharing your touching story.

    💖💖

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    Belgium Moderator Johan (Keyholder)'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    Pyrangello, your lifestory reminds me of a very positive movie, "Pay it forward".
    What you have accomplished is amazing indeed.

    Is it possible for one idea to change the world?

    With your story you show that (also) one deed, and certainly a string of such deeds, can make a huge difference in this world!

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    Canada Avalon Member TomKat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    As an adult, it would not occur to me to interact with someone else's child. It just doesn't seem appropriate. I would probably be suspicious of any adult who did.

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    Aaland Avalon Member Agape's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you help the neighborhood kids?

    If someone genuinely need my help and I’m the right person for that matter then I try to find a way to help, it doesn’t matter how old anyone is.

    Here in India there’s lots and lots of occasion for “helping” but it’s mostly a learning curve at the end of which you discover that in about 99% of cases,
    the help you can offer is too insignificant compared to what’s really needed,
    whether it concerns adults, children or animals: since most of them “belong to someone”.

    So locally and globally as well, the first think I try to inquire about if I see lost kid anywhere is where is their parent ( or caretaker) and help them navigate back to them.
    Unless it would be some kind of extraordinary situation where people get stranded or lost and I’m completely sure I’ve not lost anyone on that trail or left them behind without help,
    I don’t intervene : especially not with kids. It’s not about the law, it’s about the feel.

    For me they always belonged with their parents, as I did and no one else. I don’t want them to trust me more as a stranger.

    I remember how it feels having very good relationship with school teacher who was my maths teacher at that time and we shared a way back home and she was like older friend to me - big challenge for my mum who was quite a controlling g parent back then and mum befriended her instead and threw emotional drama at me whenever she saw us together cursing her (inside) for all kind of nastiness.

    I also remember I was quite terrified of little kids when I grew up because they seemed uncontrollable to me ( which is a nonsense), I simply grew up mostly alone without siblings etc, and then it took me couple of decades to encounter anyone who would introduce me to the young ones and till then,
    I saw them almost as holy object.

    I know I probably won’t “have kids” in this human life because I’m frail, have health issues and unless someone loved me a lots, it’s simply never been my consideration.

    “Neigbours kids” on the other hand love me as much as I love them without noticing any of my deliberations, most fortunately and they’re usually the first to “break the ice” with smiles and big eyes we share.

    As a rule of thumb I never touch them and I some kind of “hate” teachers and other public figures trying to hug or grab other people’s kids, including cuddling newborns.

    I thought long there’s something wrong with me but now I think there’s something wrong with those people.


    Of course that’s all 100% different from emergency situations and when ones help is genuinely needed.


    🙏

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