Perhaps the screaming mother is not creating a Hitler or a Stalin or a Saddam, perhaps he will not turn into a shadowy rapist who avenges himself of his childhood injustices with every woman he can. Perhaps he will not keep alive that searing coal within him, perhaps he will not fan it into a full flame one day in a communal riot.
Perhaps he will just be a man who screams at his own children. Who drinks a little too much at office parties, works too hard, drives too fast, smokes too much. Who hits his wife, or maybe just hates his life. Whatever he does do, however, whatever he does become, I will know. And I will know why.
His blanched fist tells me.
His choking rage screams the truth:
His parents failed him.
I am beginning to understand that in every man who raises his arm in violence, who kills, or rages, who seethes and hates, and seeks to destroy, there is something not just to fear, but also to pity. In every violent action, every such man tells us:
My mother failed me. My father failed me.I was scared. I was hurt. I was small, and alone, and fragile. I was afraid then, and I am still afraid.