Yesterday morning, a kid was found dead in my city. He was 3 years old. Three.
We found out about it early in the day, when the news all started to report that his dead body was found around 9am, after his mother reported him missing around midnight, and then lead the police to the scene in the morning. Throughout the day, the articles were updated and it was speculated that she was to blame and that the child wasn’t actually missing, but that she was responsible/involved with the murder.
Late in the evening, there was a report that the police arrested 3 people, a man, a minor girl and the mother.
She said that she noticed him missing around 7, prior to that he was playing in the park and she was looking after him through the window (no windows in their apartment overlook any parks) and then she searched the city herself. Until she couldn’t find him, so she called the police. As I said, in the morning, she was the one leading them to the little dead boy.
Now, you may be wondering why I’m writing about this. Especially on a blog that’s mainly lifestyle/fashion/pretty pictures based.
To express my judgment and anger toward this “mother”? To tell you that I wish all the worst for her, and that I would torture her to no end if I could? I do, and I would, but no, that’s not what this article is about.
Through my obsessive reading about it all day, I actually read every single comment on every article. Every comment on the mother’s facebook profile. Every reply to every comment.
And if you’d do that, you would see people commenting about how she was a horrible mother, always yelled at him, left him unattended, running around in the streets – in danger of being hit by a car almost daily. You can see that they talk about how she was often drunk, drugged, how the little one was severely neglected and possibly abused.
Her neighbours, who lived just next to them, people that saw her around in the park, people that sat in bars next to her.. A whole bunch of people who were aware of this horrible situation, but didn’t do anything. Or, at least not enough.
The whole city, the whole country is SHOCKED by this horrible, unthinkable crime. But it didn’t happen yesterday, it didn’t happen overnight. She wasn’t some sweet single mother who played in the park with her kid. They didn’t see her holding his hand eating ice creams. It was happening for months, the child was in that danger for years. With a mother that’s clearly unfit and dangerous to raise him.
It’s not unexpected, shocking and out of the ordinary.
So then, am I writing this to judge and blame the neighbours, observers, the citizens?
Actually, I’m writing it to blame us all.
To blame humans, to blame our selfishness and lack of love and care for others. I’m blaming every single person who saw what was going on and didn’t ask questions, didn’t call the child care service, the police. Every person who felt the danger the child was in, but turned their head the other way hoping that it would resolve by itself. I’m blaming everyone who didn’t report this mother, because it was easier to live their lives in peace rather than to get meddled in a business that doesn’t concern them.
While things are happening in front of us, we look the other way. We quietly judge and talk about other’s misfortune, but we sleep well at night, knowing it doesn’t concern us. We stay back because we don’t want to be in danger, we don’t want to fight, we don’t want our peace to be lost, even when other have no peace of their own.
We cowardly watch people being bullied, coworkers being molested, friends and children being mistreated. We hear our neighbour hitting his wife, dishes being thrown and broken, see dogs being tied on a chain 24/7. We see other beings living in fear and pain, and we keep out of it, because it’s not our business.
It is not until something as awful as this happen, that we voice our concern, our opinion. That we “fight”. Now that the kid is dead, even though he was always in danger, now the righteous people of my city finally are doing something. They’re writing comments in Facebook posts, blaming the “whore mother”, naming all the things she did wrong while she was raising him, talking about all the things they would do to her, and what weapon they’d use to murder her now.
The police, the social services, the neighbours, the friends and observers, they all failed this kid. We all failed this kid, and the kid represents every other human who was killed or is continuing being hurt. Their blood is on our hands.
We will not survive, if we don’t help out each other. We have no future if we continue to turn the other cheek, if other people’s problems are not ours.
We are doomed if we’re all in this alone.
The little guy was off to a horrible start, but he could have been someone. Someone special. He could have made this city a better place. He could have done a better parenting on some kid, some day, himself. We’ll never know.
If you see someone in danger or pain, please be brave, and do the right thing. Don’t excite yourself over having a new gossip to spread around. Another person to judge and to feel better about yourself, because you’re at least not that horrible.
It is never a game. It is someone’s life. Someone’s life could be in your hands, you could make a difference in how it continues.
We are all responsible. We know better. And we owe each other at least that much.