As I have passed through some of metro Atlanta's neighborhoods, I have noticed the "work" of those bored child-minds, whose home training is clearly nonexistent.
They represent themselves in banners of different colors - none discerning or distinguished; most of them are only half-intelligible.
They are graffiti ridden walls and playgrounds that spring forth like dandelions in well-fertilized fields. They are the quirky, witless, four-letter nicknames and three-word phrases of people who have nothing better to do and nothing better to aspire to than to be invasive parasites on society.
I suspect they are teenagers. That is, at least, I hope they are teenagers with no real understanding of the value of things.
I have seen homes that people have worked hard to own and make look decent and proper for their friends and family defaced by graffiti.
I have seen the toddlers' playground on which a community expended great efforts to build and assemble, also defaced.
Alas, there are the tacky words of little artistic value, blazoned across the objects of others' hard work, struggle, and attempts to improve their community's quality of life.
I had not really recognized it so much until now. Now, I am seeing neighborhoods literally decay first-hand. Before, I only saw the degradation that already existed, and either worsened or improved over the course of my observing it.
I now have the displeasure of seeing decency erode into something that could be as simple as a younger teenager's boredom and limited outlook on life and his or her place in it.
I am the witness of carelessness.
And maybe it is not the carelessness that I should attribute to those people I hope are ignorant teenagers. I think the carelessness begins at home and continues to bleed into the community.
Atlanta needs something more than a Band-Aid these days.
Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (770) 957-9161.