Tragedy upon Tragedy

No one deserves to be shot in the back. What happened to Walter L. Scott was a tragedy. It was the last tragedy upon tragedy that occurred in his life. As a young man, he fathered two children out of wedlock. That was the first of a line of tragedies that marked the last 30 years of his life. He walked away from that family with no strings attached; no child support to pay. Next, he married, had two children and divorced. This was another tragedy. Now there were two families without a visible father. Between families, laws regarding child support became tougher and better enforced. As a result, Mr. Scott found himself in jail for falling behind in child support. Jail time led to the loss of a good paying job and to difficulty in finding comparable employment. What a mess! Because he participated in a program called Father to Father, Mr. Scott’s support payments were reduced. However, Walter Scott fell behind again.

There was a time in the 70’s and 80’s when economically and educationally poor young men considered it the height of machismo to father as many children as possible. The number of “dead beat dads” increased. The laws regarding child support helped to change that tragedy. There was a time, only two generations ago, when having a child out of wedlock was a family disgrace. There was a time, not too long ago when getting a divorce was a family disgrace. It amazes me that the economically poor, for the most part, do not realize that, among the things that they cannot afford, is divorce. That is another tragedy.

The laws regarding child support ought to be improved. Nevertheless, everyone must take responsibility for his/her actions and the consequences resulting from those actions. To do so might prevent yet another tragedy.

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