What we learn over time, from our own children and from the children of our friends, is how powerful are the traits built into our children -- and not only those of personality and bio-chemistry, but more important and even frightening, of character. Some people are born good -- naturally inclined to be kind, thoughtful and considerate of the impact they have on others; while for other human beings, empathy -- the ability to put oneself in the place of another -- is very hard and sometimes impossible to inculcate.
In parenting, as in virtually every other area of life, as we get older we become increasingly aware of the role of luck -- including how some children turn out.
And that is why the only reaction any of us should have to the suicide of 18-year-old James Dungy is profound sorrow -- for him, his parents and all those who loved him.
From every account of that family, if it happened to them, it could happen to anyone.
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