Undaunted by the title. Well done, you. For coffee conversation, this one’s about as taboo as death and taxes.
Gangs: boys in the hood; a social club for teens without a drive to contribute to society, engaging in crime to get the recognition they would get if they did contribute to society.
But I submit there are all sorts of gangs. People aren’t animals—but like dogs, some of us travel in packs. We feel protected, prudent, and popular. “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.”
Thankfully, most of us are particular about our pack. I certainly wouldn’t join a group I perceived might become violent. But people are fickle; sometimes, after you’re linked in, they change the rules. What started out as a meeting-and-greeting place is suddenly somebody’s turf. Admittance is only granted to people who (right or wrong) are on the same sheet of music. You can point out the leader, and his thugs. Conviviality has given way to conniving. Their cause is indiscriminate and unpredictable. Miss a couple of soirees, or be at the wrong place at the wrong time, and somebody could get hurt.
It’s smart to consider this before becoming integrally connected. Anybody with their thinking cap on should be able to recognize an ego‑infused boys’ club.
Do you fear that a loved one is in one of these groups? Listen to how they talk about other people. Are they becoming more isolated? Does their life seem more and more boxed in? Watch how they interact. Does the way they think and act seem suddenly different? Do you have any concern about the Darkness being involved? Are they suddenly dropping longtime friends? Ask why they aren’t seeing so-and-so lately. Ask who they’re spending time with this weekend. Ask if it can be you.