To the editor:
Last week, my children and I attended the Lied Center's school performance of "A Midnight Cry: The Underground Railroad to Freedom," performed by the Dallas Children's Theater, a moving account of a slave girl's life and sojourn on the Underground Railroad.
In one particular scene, the main character, Lida, is whipped by her slave master. My young daughter cried silently while she watched Lida's body heave forward and crumble to the ground with each lash of the whip. The mood was somber as the cast sang an a cappella spiritual during this scene. But then I heard children from different areas of the auditorium break into laughter! Thankfully, the actors did not miss a beat and continued their performance. Then, there it was again! More laughter as Lida was whipped, which now had me tearing up.
Was this play too slow to hold the attention of kids used to fast-paced movies and music? Are children becoming desensitized to violence because of its regularity in television and movies? I don't know.
But there is something wrong with kids laughing when another person is hurting. These were not jaded teenagers. These children were third- to sixth-graders - too young to find humor in another's pain; young enough to still be innocent with tender hearts, surprised at injustice.
Jesus said that unless we become like little children we shall not enter the kingdom of God. I'm sad that little children don't act like little children anymore.