Not as Brave as I’d Like to Be

Over the last couple of days I’ve been upset by discovering a boy I worked with has been jailed for 23 years for murder. The judge was scathing of him in his judgement and the media has shown graphic footage of his arrest as well as daily newspaper articles. I wanted to write something in the “Letters to the Editor” but my name would be published along with the suburb in which I live and I know I couldn’t deal with the inevitable vitriol which would follow.

I’m hoping that if I put my letter to the editor here it will make me feel better, make me feel I’ve “got it off my chest”.

How can people look at the images of Liam Humbles and rip him to shreds? Don’t they see the completely miserable human I see? His thin shoulders curled around his scrawny body, his completely blank face and his inability to process any reasonable thought.  People take “recreational drugs” to make themselves happy don’t they? Liam is the best anti-drugs image I’ve ever seen.  By contrast the image of his victim shows a wonderful happy face, the face of a person whose loss causes terrible pain but Liam apparently shows no remorse for killing him. I suspect that Liam feels nothing, not hope, happiness, pain, guilt or remorse. Probably he’s felt that way most of his life and when drugs became accessible he abused them to make himself numb but our society needs to ask why and do something about it or we will continue to create people like him.

7 thoughts on “Not as Brave as I’d Like to Be

  1. I also am extremely upset by this as a local Brighton mum it saddens me to think we have have created this unhappy child in our schools and community .

  2. Thank you for your comment and for your humanity. I was happy to read Amanda’s Blair’s column which was such a contrast to the hate filled media reports which appeared daily.

  3. I thought your words summed up my sadness for Liam’s sad life more succinctly. Amanda focussed on the mothers perspective and although very true it is a more selfish view of how does this reflect my parenting and me and I have to make sure I don’t create a child like this. But what if you can’t not create a child like this…who will love them and look out for the venerable members in our community, certainly not Justice David and the legal system.

  4. I think Amanda made some great points but they were about a mothers perspective and that no mother wants to turn out a child who ends up like Liam. I feel greatly for Liam’s mother but my sadness is about what if you can’t not turn out a child like this. Who will be there to love and protect the vulnerable members of our society who are unhappy and bullied and need support. It certainly isn’t Justice David and the police who knew he had a gun and did nothing!

    • I don’t know enough about the circumstances but I don’t understand how a young lad like that can get hold of a gun. Anyone who knew Liam had it and did nothing must share some of the guilt. I just feel so sad about it because I can’t ever remember seeing Liam relaxed, laughing or smiling and whatever his life was like then it’s going to be worse now. I think he probably was bullied but why do some people in that situation become protectors of the vulnerable and others become bullies themselves? It’s a terrible shame for everyone that Liam didn’t turn into a protector.

    • I don’t think it is only lack of a supportive family or community which creates a bully. Another boy I knew was said to have been bullied and moved schools because of it, he was a big lad and from what I saw he took advantage of that. His mother always had excuses for his behaviour. Several years ago I saw that he was gaoled for throwing rocks at another boy he and some friends had put in a hole. I later heard the mother tell someone she had 2 children, rather than 3, so she had disowned the bully. That mother was an intelligent, loving, caring person and anyone who knew would say, “She didn’t deserve to have a child like that”.

      I wish someone wise would come up with the catalyst that makes these people so totally lacking of empathy and tell us how to counteract it.

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