We Can’t Save Everyone…

A friend posted a link to this article on Facebook. Go ahead and read it, and then come back here, I’ll wait…

Did you read it? OK — what was your reaction.

Several people have mentioned that this story made them cry. OK — I can understand that reaction, but honestly, I don’t think that was a strong enough reaction, at least not for me.

This story pissed me off.

Big time.

This little girl’s world failed her. Not just her crazy parents and grandmother — not just the plethora of social service and state agencies that were supposed to be monitoring her situation –EVERYONE

Including us.

Yeah, I said it. US. Society in general let this little girl die, after living a torturous four years.

“How?”, you ask? Well I’ll tell ya.

We are a self-centered society. Unless something is happening at the tips of our noses or in our front yard, we think we don’t need to get involved. Sure, we read stories like these and think, “Oh, how tragic, that poor poor little girl”…

Then we go back to playing Farmville or posting pics from our last vacation.

Why? Why do we do this?

The two responses I hear most often:

1. We can’t save everyone.

2. I can’t make a difference by myself, so why should I try?

I swear to God, when I hear those responses, I think my head’s going to explode. Those two phrases have become the excuse mantras for not saving ANYONE.

And quite honestly, I think both phrases are a big, heapin’, steamin’ pile of bull.

I know this is an unpopular and unpalatable stance for many, but it DOES take a village to raise a child…

Especially if the village the child lives in is overrun by idiots. Someone has to take a stand for these kids. I don’t give a damn if anyone helps the adults in the village (well, I do care, but they aren’t the subject of this post at the moment), but these kids’ only crime was being brought into this world to people who can’t or won’t give a damn about them.

This. Has. To. Stop.

Whenever I go off on this sort of rant (and it happens OFTEN), someone always asks me what we should do about it. Well, here ya go —

In cases such as the one mentioned in this post:

1. If you see a child being abused, report it.

2. If you know a child is in danger (especially a relative), GET THEM OUT. One of the most disturbing parts of this story for me was that several of that little girl’s relatives suspected someone was amiss, but didn’t act on their suspicions.

3. If you have any involvement with social services agencies, pay attention to what is being said (or not said) by staff members.

In general:

PAY ATTENTION TO SOMEONE AND SOMETHING OTHER THAN YOURSELF! Yeah, I’m screaming. I know it can be uncomfortable to see things we would rather ignore, but ignoring the issue does not make it go away. Someone has to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Someone has to help this next generation — they can’t help themselves and we are failing them. And if the next generation fails, what do you think will happen to society as a whole? We can no longer wait for someone else to come along and do the hard work. No more excuses.

So, maybe we can’t save everyone. Perhaps some people will “fall through the cracks” (Lord, how I detest that phrase!). But dammit, that is no excuse not to try.

PS — this may seem to be a strange post for a writer’s blog, but it’s here for two reasons:

1. my Other blog site is down for maintenance.

2. As writers, we need to lend our voices to the issue. I mean, that’s why we write, is it not, to inform? To educate? To offer our opinions….?

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4 thoughts on “We Can’t Save Everyone…

  1. Rhea says:

    Both the story and your response hits home. When something like this happens, people get the attitude of well, they’re just going to have to figure that out on their own and in the meantime, the kids are suffering. 😦

  2. Rhea~

    Thanks for your comment. And you make a great point: if these people could, or were willing to “figure that out on their own,” they would have done so. These kids are paying the price for the actions/inactions of the adults in their life, and at the risk of sounding like a petulant 5-year-old, it’s not fair.

  3. Tobi-Dawne says:

    As someone who’s a part of a family that has pulled several children from aforementioned cracks, stories like this never fail to amaze me – yet don’t surprise me either. People are content to live, heads buried in the sand, even after they’ve been made aware that things like this happen. People will cry when they read this poor girls story, and then go back to shoveling the sand in around themselves ready to claim ignorance the next time it happens.

    It doesn’t take much to save a life. It doesn’t take much to get involved. It doesn’t take much to make change happen. But people just don’t care, and “not much” is apparently too much to ask. 😦

  4. Sadly, Tobi-Dawne, I cannot argue with a word you said. And I really wish I could. Thanks for the comment.

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