I admit that I don’t follow the news much anymore. In fact, my husband and I donated the last TV in our house to Goodwill earlier this year. Somehow, once I got the constant flow of all that is the worst about humanity out of my home, my world became a much friendlier, safer place.
Even so, I manage to run across enough to believe that I’m living in a world that is spiraling into complete insanity.
As far as gender, marriage, and related issues go, I’m pretty conservative. It’s not my point to argue this today. I’m simply going to react to a news blurb a friend posted on Facebook about a man who was hiding in a women’s bathroom and strangled a young girl. The comment — this is why we don’t want men in our bathrooms. (Yes, the poster is a woman.)
The story proves nothing for either side. For crying out loud, the man hid in a women’s bathroom — he didn’t care what sign was on the door! For all we know, he was hetero in his sexuality, because he certainly wasn’t dressed up like a woman. We are, in essence, trying to cure diseases by treating the symptoms.
Self-defeating, maladaptive, and predatory behaviors are caused by the brain responding badly to stresses in life. We need to be teaching our children resilience instead of fear.
The answer to the bathroom debate? I don’t have one. Life is messy, and sometimes there just aren’t perfect solutions.
But that debate is now old news, because a gorilla was killed in Ohio. A small child managed to get into the gorilla exhibit, leaving the zoo’s response team with no time to think and plan — they knew they simply had to save the boy (heaven forbid that they had allowed the child to die and saved the gorilla!).
The public’s response? Somebody has got to pay for this!
We ignore that parents are human and that children can be headstrong and sneaky. The zoo had probably gone over the exhibit many times to ensure the safety of zoo visitors. It doesn’t matter. The public is suddenly outraged at the idea of holding animals in captivity — even though it raises awareness among people who otherwise wouldn’t think about extinction at all and gives scientists the opportunity to study the animals and collect reproductive cells to try to responsibly repopulate an endangered species. No, we cry for the immediate release of all animals back into the wild without one thought as to their inability to re-adapt to the wild. They’d starve to death within days.
We want the zoo punished because it wasn’t safe enough, and it will probably struggle through this year because visitors will be boycotting it to make sure they know what an outrageous situation they allowed. We also cry for the punishment of a mother who was so careless — as if nearly losing her son and the guilt she feels for losing sight of him wasn’t enough. Please, don’t give the mom any credit for actively involving herself and taking her son to the zoo — after all she could have been home and high on drugs and letting her son to hang with crack dealers on the corner!
We don’t care who pays as long as our collective sense of justice is satisfied.
The good news? No one is posting much about bathrooms at the moment.
Of course, in modern society, today’s gorilla becomes tomorrow’s Marine. We only have the attention span of gnats, anyway.
In recent days, a Blue Angel was killed when his plane stalled during a maneuver. A Thunderbird flight crashed after the flyover at the Air Force Academy commencement (but those pilots ejected safely). More soldiers were killed during training exercises in Texas.
Suddenly, we have calls for transparency in our military, safety checks, and I’m sure even fines for the military as well as benefits for the families.
Again, somebody has to pay.
The truth is that rational people don’t like senseless death, suffering, and tragedy. My point is that our desire for justice is being focused in the wrong areas.
Life is messy. There is a reason that the English language has the word “accident” in it. We’ve known for decades that dangerous people look a lot like safe, friendly people. Being alive carries risks.
Perhaps, instead of marching for “justice,” we should look a little deeper inside ourselves. I’m sure there is a neighbor who needs a hand, maybe a friend who can help start a small movement or fundraiser to improve something.
Don’t call for someone else to do something and bring justice, get up and do it yourself!
Need some ideas?