Yesterday I saw a group of teenagers in bikes trying to get out of our community.

They didn’t have a key to open the gate.

One of them started kicking the door, hanging onto the gate arm and trying to force open the main gate.

Because we see broken gates often, I took a picture and posted it on our community wall at Nextdoor to see if some parents would recognize the kids and take some action.

There was some action.

Some neighbors started calling the kids “punks”, others suggested calling the police.

I wouldn’t call the police because, I must admit, I was not an easy kid when I was a teenager. I did some dumb things.

But I learned that there were consequences for my actions, and my parents were the first to mark the field.

I had my bike taken away and I was not allowed to go out with friends. They knew me well enough to make me learn the lesson.

When I was 11 years old, we were at a family get together and my friend and I went to the store to buy bread.

When we arrived, they had a huge candy display and I took one without paying.

When we got home, my mom saw me eating candy and asked where I got it.

—” From the store”, I replied.

At the time, money was scarce so she immediately realized I didn’t pay for the candy.

I still remember the walk to the store with my mom by my side screaming…

— “That candy is for selling. They are not yours to take!”

— “Mr. Carlos is working to feed his family. If it was you, would you like it if someone came to your store and took free candy?”

When we got to the store, I had to apologize to Mr. Carlos. My mom lent me the money to pay for it and I had to work at home to repay it.

Thankfully, I had my parents to guide me and teach me the value of respect.

Respect to others. Respect to their persons and property.

In an ideal world, we should all have those values of respect and everyone would be happy.

But in the case of the kids breaking the community gate, the parents actually wrote me to threaten me.

– “Who are you to judge kids just riding the bikes?” (I had a picture of one of them with the pole in his hand and I saw the story)

No wonder their sons go through the world disrespecting everyone and their property.

They have parents that will help them bully whoever threatens their bully’s rights.

I believe those parents think they are doing the right thing by supporting their sons against the world.

But from personal experience, I think it is the other way around.

I appreciate my parents not taking my side when I stole candy.

They taught me a lesson at the right moment.

However, I also understand those bully parents. Maybe they didn’t have parents to guide them.

The problem that we face now as a society is to educate kids and parents alike.

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