Seriously, when did 2016 become the year of the expert?
So far there has been a surge in parenting experts, vehicle experts, weather experts, primate experts, reptile experts and gun control experts. Everyone seems to know how to do it better than the next guy.
What happened to compassion? What happened to rallying behind someone during their darkest hour and offering them support and a shoulder?
Bad stuff happens, but what matters most in the wake of tragedy are the actions of those around us.
Pointing fingers and asserting blame won’t make the bad thing better. In fact, it makes the bad thing worse. Magically everyone knows how things should have been handled. How things could have been avoided, but no one can tell the future.
Life is an unpredictable place where curve balls and roadblocks can pop up at any moment.
By now nearly everyone has heard of the tragedy at the Disney resort involving an alligator grabbing and killing a 2-year-old boy who was wading in the shallows of a man-made lake on the resort property. There are many opinions about why this happened, or should not have, circulating about.
Alligators can be found in every lake in Central Florida, and you can’t keep them out. Despite our best efforts, mother nature cannot always be controlled.
We can study the weather, we can read up on animal behavior, scour through books on the best way to rear a child, debate how to keep people from killing until the cows come home, but at the end of the day, life is not predictable and there are no guarantees.
When I was a toddler, nearly 30 years ago, another 18-month-old toddler named Jessica McClure was playing in her aunt’s backyard when she fell into a well. Rescuers worked nonstop for 58 hours, finally freeing “Baby Jessica” from the well. The story gained worldwide attention, but this family had the support of an entire country when they were in the thick of it.
Kids are curious and they can wander off in the blink of an eye — like the little boy who found himself face-to-face with a gorilla, despite a parent’s best efforts. In both cases a tragedy happened, an unforeseen tragic accident took place which left a 2-year-old dead and a toddler fighting for her life deep underground.
During “Baby Jessica’s” rescue effort, no questions were asked — not one single “Where were the parents?” comment. Just a country of other moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas watching in horror as a set of parents went through the unthinkable.
The scene surrounding the Nebraska boy’s search effort in Florida set off a tirade of finger pointing and criticism.
We now live in a time where accidents, of any form, in any way, and at any time, are not allowed to happen. We have become a nation of blamers. We are a population of perfect, pitchfork-carrying experts. We have developed an insatiable need to blame and to criticize everything from the safety of our many social devices.
I’m just sick of it all.
I know exactly where that little boy was taken. I have brought my own family to that same resort and walked on that very same beach. I grieve with those parents. I hope they find peace.
The loss of our nine Fort Hood soldiers hits close to home. That could have been my husband’s vehicle during a training exercise. When the little boy fell in the enclosure, my heart went out to that poor mother because I have two curious toddlers that can go from playing nicely at my feet to helping the dogs eat their dinner in the blink of an eye. The senseless act of violence at the Orlando night club makes me sick. Why are we so consumed with which bathroom people choose to use, or whom they choose to love, or whom they choose to pray to every night?
We need to put down our pitchforks and stop the blaming. We need to remember that we are all humans and in times of need, we all need the same thing: love.