People get all kinds of strange ideas when they first hear about the concept of “The Dangerous Child.” Modern entertainment-saturated people get many of their ideas about hypothetical personalities or characters from fiction — novels, TV, movies, comics, etc.
Hit Girl was raised from childhood by her father with the single-minded aim of killing the mobster who was responsible for the death of Hit Girl’s mother, and the false imprisonment of her father — a former police officer. She was trained in methods of assassination, hand to hand combat, combat using a wide range of weapons, and was given an attitude to go with her expertise in killing. She was a 10 year old killing machine.
Hanna was 16 years old at the time of the action in the film. She was raised by a man she believed to be her father, and given a wide range of skills in killing and survival, in order to wreak revenge on the forces who had tried to kill her when she was tiny and helpless.
Both Hit Girl and Hanna were raised to be human weapons, masters of death and mayhem, but almost one-dimensional in that respect — not at all well-rounded children or adolescents who would be able to pursue a normal life of open achievement and interdependency with peers, family, and associates.
Neither Hit Girl nor Hanna would qualify as Dangerous Children — regardless of their potency as hunters, fighters, and killers — because they lack the well-roundedness and full potential of someone raised according to The Dangerous Child Method.
Charles Bronson’s character in Death Wish is another character that sometimes comes to mind when people first mull over the concept of “The Dangerous Child” in their minds. They read item after item on Al Fin blogs, describing countless episodes of intentional sabotage of freedoms by persons in high places, and accounts of senseless violence in public and private places that should be safe — and they assume that Dangerous Children would be trained to take revenge on the guilty parties, like Charles Bronson’s character tried to do.
But Charles Bronson’s character was not raised as a Dangerous Child. He was an ordinary professional, living a happy and successful life, who was thrown into anguish and disarray by human predators out for a lark. To the killers and rapists who attacked his family, it was nothing personal. But it became personal to Bronson’s character, a new avocation that he learned at an advanced age. He became a middle-aged hunter-killer avenger.
But he was not a Dangerous Child, because he lacked the entire philosophical perspective and practical skills package. He was a broken man who was trying to take certain actions which might help to make sense out of a senseless tragedy — which would never have happened had he been a Dangerous Child.
Dangerous Children are not about revenge, or about avenging wrongs. Revenge is oriented toward the past. Dangerous Children are oriented toward the future — at multiple scales. Of course, if “the best revenge is living well,” there may be a small sense in which Dangerous Children incorporate a bit of revenge in the total scheme of things.
If the above character sketches describe things that Dangerous Children are not about, then what are they about?
It will require hundreds of postings to detail a meaningful and actionable specification for Dangerous Child training. As for an actual portrait of a modern Dangerous Child — something to sink your mind into in order to understand where this thing is going — you may have to wait a bit.