The principle of withdrawal and assault operates at the highest levels of cultural, social, and political interaction, with constant glorification in the popular arts and media. The spiritual malformation of children is the inevitable result. Their little souls, bodies, and minds cannot but absorb the reality of assault and withdrawal in a climate where their parents or other adults are constantly engaged in them. And of course they are soon in the line of fire themselves. They soon are being attacked and frozen out. In such a context you can almost see the children shrivel.
Their only hope of survival is to become hardened. This amounts to a constant posture of withdrawal, even from oneself. It is a defensive posture, which, incidentally makes attack (on others and on oneself) easy and inevitable. Hardened, lonely little souls, ready for addiction, aggression, isolation, self-destructive behavior, and for some, even extreme violence, go out to mingle their madness with one another in nightmarish school grounds and 'communities.' They turn to their bodies for self-gratification and to control others, or for isolation and self-destruction.
The wonder is not that they sometimes destroy one another, but that the adults who produced them and live with them can, with apparent sincerity, ask 'Why'? Do they really not know? Can they really not see the poison in the social realm? It is another profound case of the blind leading the blind and both falling into a pit (Matthew 15:14). - Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart