November 16, 2018

The Blame Game: Of Gorillas and Children.

As a social media addict, I confess there have times when at the park I took my eyes off of my children  to take a photo only to be shocked at how far away from me they had walked.  They were not kidnapped.  I got lucky.

We live in a society that loves to cast blame.  When something bad happens, our immediate question is “who’s at fault?”  Attorneys are standing by to sue, not because it’s moral, but because it’s legal. Someone better pay for what happened.

This week, a mother looked away at her phone, and her child ended up in the hands of a gorilla in Cincinnati Zoo.

It’s the questions we ask that get us in trouble.  “Where was the mother?”  “Why was she so irresponsible?”  “Why would they shoot an innocent gorilla?”  “Why was the zoo so irresponsible about the gates?”

We forget that not everything bad that happens is someone's fault. Sometimes it's bad luck.

In the rush to blame, we forget that in the end the life of a child is more important than the life of an animal.

Those damned questions.

Have we ever taken our eyes off of our children?

Do we really love the gorilla more than the zookeepers do who have dedicated their lives to the zoo and to the gorilla?

If my child found his way into that cage, with the possibility of being torn into pieces, how would I want the scenario to end?

Sometimes, bad things happen and we need to respond. Our response should be an outpouring of love for a child that could have been killed, an outpouring of love for a shot gorilla, an outpouring of love for the shocked parents, and an outpouring of love for the zookeepers who did their best in a bad situation.

This time, we adults, all of us are to blame.  We reacted poorly.  As a mob, we blamed everyone but ourselves.

We should all be in this together, not split each other apart.

Let’s build a society in which we take more responsibility than we cast blame, in which we show more compassion and less harsh judgment.