Kids and old folks, it seems to me, have a lot in common. They don’t often get recognized as fully fledged citizens in our society. Sure they may be viewed as cute, quaint or special by some, but many times that’s just a superficial, brief and casual encounter. 

Oft times they are not taken very seriously. They quite often hesitate to speak up for themselves adequately. They can be pushed around and intimidated and often are. They do not present a formidable defense, can’t put up a good fight and are easy prey for those who might wish to take advantage of them.

My sister used to say that children, the weak, the elderly and animals so often get kicked around, taken advantage of and bear the brunt of life’s hard knocks. And sadly this may be so.

I myself had lots of fights and bloody noses as a young kid. I had many challenging encounters and had to defend myself with my fists over and over. But then my body went through a rapid spurt of growth. And in growing big and strong, interestingly I was no longer picked on. Size and strength have their advantages I suppose. I’ve been lucky in this respect. I’ve not had to live in fear and anxiety and be at the mercy of others. 

Girls have a rough time any way you look at it. This is especially so if they are meek, mild, pretty and attractive. Of course they get some honest and sincere admiration and innocent complementary smiles of approval, but they also get quite a lot of unwelcome attention from guys they would rather have nothing to do with.

Being an object of beauty and desire is not such a wonderful advantage as many might expect. A girl, young lady or woman so blessed by nature often has to be very aware and on guard of predators in her environment. She may feel like a magnet attracting their leers and creepiness. She may have trouble relating to men, not fully certain that their friendship and intentions are sincere.

If she has brothers and or other male members of her family who are decent to her, then she is lucky. She may realize that not all men are horrible beasts lusting after her body. She may not shut herself off entirely from the rest of the male population. 

Another difficult and troublesome area of our society would be that which we term minorities. Although they are not always in the minority of the population they often seem disadvantaged due to race, national background, skin color or financial pecking order. 

I view this as the haves versus the have nots. Some try to ignore this continues conflict as though it does not exist. But it’s a very real ongoing battle for power, recognition and acceptance. You see it in just about every town, city and community.

In looking at our human society, if you view it as an evolving eco system, you could say it still has quite a way to evolve.

Rulers of nation states, districts and communities many times use and abuse their positions to a great extent. They are the haves and want to remain as such. They enact laws beneficial to themselves but penalizing to their citizens in the form of taxes and regulations. Those who possess and cling to the power often appear to have a sociopathic inclination. To retain this power position they seem to feel it necessary to suppress all those beneath them.

To view this perspective for yourself just visit your nearest Federal Building or TSA airport security site. Ask yourself does this experience make you feel like a free sovereign citizen or more like a suspected criminal?

So we have military, police, courts and prisons tasked to handle this role. I know they promote their role and purpose as maintenance of peace, security, democracy and justice. And granted, there may be some semblance of these in our world. But, as I view it, it’s basically an ongoing power struggle with the haves doing their utmost to preserve the status quo.

On a larger scale, the struggle between nations goes on in a similar fashion in the daily affairs of our world. 

Man has still not risen far above his animal instincts. But animals merely want to survive. They do not war, torture, destroy and kill unnecessary.

So with all of the above, isn’t it amazing that we do manage to survive and somehow get along?

I think we are still early in this process of transition from the law of the jungle to that of an orderly civil society.

You may ask why it is I bring up all these troublesome issues.

I myself have a personal interest in attempting to alter and improve this faulty nature of ours. I have a fondness for kids, old folks and animals.

Dan O’Connor can be reached at