Connect + Shun



“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” —   Octavia Butler

The action mutated almost immediately for this one youngster as his playmates decided to use him as an object of their frustrations. Hockey sticks and pucks were abandoned as the other children changed the theme of the game and made him the object of their attention.

It had been a quiet afternoon. A group of energetic neighborhood youngsters wanted to enjoy a game of street hockey. Their goalie net had been set up near the opening curve of a dead-end street leading to a cul-de-sac.

The players gathered and after a few minutes of fun the action turned from innocent sports related activity  into all out physical abuse directed at the smallest child there.

I was not aware when the melee had started but loud screams outside my patio door and the concerned shouts of many passersby aimed at the ruckus alerted me to the situation. 

Outside my window I noticed a group of children holding another smaller child down on the ground while a larger one sat on top of him. The reinforcements also joined the action.

I grabbed my camera and started shooting pictures. I wanted to have physical evidence to offer the police should anything serious happen. I then walked out the back door and yelled at the group.

I asked them if they even lived in the building. They told me that they lived in another part of the complex. Then I not too politely told them to “get the hell off the premises and leave the little kid alone”. 

He seemed grateful for my interference as he picked himself up and ran away from the group.. The bigger kid picked him up by the scruff of the neck and let him go.

A few minutes later an irate male parent approached the back door of the building. He seemed to be fuming and I did not open to door to attempt chatting with him.

When he threatened me with physical violence I called the 9-1-1 number . By the time the police arrived at the site  ( two hours later) the kids had gone home. All I had left of the event was my five photos which I gave to the police. 

They seemed irritated with my actions and advised me that the next time a similar situation occurs call them and keep my head down.

I suppose I could follow their advice but then my thoughts turn to the victim who could be laying on the ground injured and waiting for them to arrive on the scene.

The father was upset because I had yelled at his darlings and told me I did not own the street . Which is correct. But if you look again at the second and third inserts you will notice a tree trunk which is not even close to the site where they had initially chosen to play hockey

I hope that the youngster will sever his connection with this group of bullies and realize that friendship and belonging to a group does not involve receiving bruises or undue physical abuse.



About gc (661 Articles)
Quote of the week: "If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.-- Frank Herbert quotes .

14 Comments on Connect + Shun

  1. his ‘little darlings’, eh? It is so hard to know when to get involved or not, but it sounds like this little guy really needed some to step in for him–especially if passersby were concerned. You did what needed to be done, Gerry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lois. It was a cause for concern when I looked out the window and saw the unfair odds stacked against the little kid. Enjoy the weekend. 🙂


    • Thank you. I think the father was “upset” because his authority to rule the unvierse had been challenged and he had to save face before his kid. It doesn’t make sense but some folks are like that: arrogant and belligerent. I am sure the youngster on the bottom of the pile was grateful for his rescue. Enjoy the day. Thank you for writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you Gerry! We all need a hero sometime!! That little boy was very fortunate that you intervened! Very good article!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can only hope there will be more like you in the world. In my experience, too many would have shut their door and look the other way (and I’m not sure the Police reaction would have changed their minds).
    Maybe writing about it can make a difference. Thank you 🙂


    • Thank you for writing. I can appreciate the police conern for my safety but at the moment the child’s safety and well being were paramount. I was also told by many that “fools rush in”. I think that is a cliche answer that is meant to dissuade people who want to keep others safe from harm. Turning your back on a situation at one time was probably quite fashionable. In this day and age you have to become your brother’s keeper with the underlying hope that your fellow man will one day look out for your safety and concern should the occasion arise.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Such occasions make us to feel why the hell we had to go and put our-self on the scene.
    The aftermath is disgusting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The police reaction was disgusting. But the child’s safety was the main concern. You win some. You lose some. But you still put yourself on the scene helping someone in trouble. Than you for writing. Enjoy the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t imagine how your intervention was wrong! Everyone needs to be ready to protect a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You did the right thing. A similar situation happened many years ago in the apartment complex where I lived. I was on my way home from work when I saw several girls surrounding my girlfriend’s daughter in a very threatening manner. I immediately intervened and went over to her. The other girls were shocked that an adult would get involved and did not challenge me. I guess they thought maybe I was her mother or an aunt. I took my girlfriend’s daughter back to my apartment, called her Mom explaining what had happened and of course comforted the little girl. Kids can be so violent. This incident happened before cell phones and such.

    Now when these high school kids get into fights they pick one kid and beat him/her to a bloody pulp. Other kids video the fight and upload it to YouTube. Since many kids carry weapons I would call the cops. Even though I feel for the child being beaten if one plays the hero you will also be beaten within an inch of your life because these young people have no respect for life and don’t care about their fellow humans.


    • Thank you for your thoughts. Many kids that age have little or no respect for life, limb or property. They are arrogant and belligerent. Many times the more dominant member of the group will exercise his control by beating the pulp out of the smallest and weakest member…sometimes a friend, brother or whatever. That was the case here. The kid getting beat up wanted to fit into the group and allowed himself to be targeted.

      Bravo to you on what you also did. It takes courage to take a stand. I did spend a few minutes observing the group and would have called the police first if I had noticed weapons. After my initial surveillance I intervened and the big kid let the little one escape.

      Sometimes you have to call the authorities to report the parent and not the child. This is especially dangerous if the parent is high on drugs and is venting more anger than the situation really calls for. This was the the case here and I immediately dialed 9-1-1.


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