It is evident that something is wrong in Chicago. The recent spate of violence amongst youth serves to draw our attention to what is really wrong with our society. In our society today, there is a general lack of respect. It became startling a few weeks ago, when the President of the United States in a televised address to the nation and the world was heckled by a member of Congress. If our leaders are not showing respect to leadership, then how do we expect young people to respect one another and protect each other?

As a parent we are all shocked at the level and intensity of violence directed at the person. How safe are our streets? Can we send our children to school, work, play and institutions of higher learning without wondering when will that phone call come?

Something has to give. In my new book “Musings of the Spirit” I detail how my faith helped me survive domestic violence. In reality, when a young person commit such acts, statistics show, that the violence will be repeated when they become adults. Broken children make broken adults. Unresolved emotional issues leads to brokenness later on. We have to address this matter in a meaningful way. Religious leaders of the community have to reach out to these young persons. Outreach can be in the form of community events, or invite them to a night of worship or just simply asking to meet with them.

Here in Detroit, a friend directs a program called the Ark Non-Violence Program. Elementary and middle school students are engaged in a ten week course where, they are taught anger management skills, how to increase their confidence level, and to develop viable career skills. This is perhaps what these youth need. Someone to point them in the right direction. Maybe a program similar to this can be initiated in the Chicago area. At this point we support whatever measures are taken to reduce violence. But we are just as concerned that these individuals, do not self-destruct by going through the penal system and after discharge, have no life skills with which to cope with life’s issues.

My prayer is for them find peace within themselves and to apply faith and prayer and belief in an Almighty God to overcome what ever challenges they have to face.

Harriet Cammock is the author of “Musings of the Spirit” and host of the weekly Radio program “The Faith Hour.” For more information on speaking engagements and her itinerary, visit: www.harrietcammock.org