I have been at a complete loss for words since hearing about the 2 year old who was dragged away from his parents by an alligator at Disney, Florida.
This, hot on the heels of the worst mass shooting the US has ever seen, and the senseless gunning down of Christina Grimme, a beautiful, talented 22 year old…all in Florida, all in the space of a few days.
And while thoughts and anger, emotion and sadness has been filling my head and mind since these horrific events have unfolded, I’ve been at a complete loss on how to put those words down on paper.
But today I woke up to the news that a little body was found, mere feet from where his helpless dad had watched him be snatched as he tried to pry open an alligator’s mouth with his bare hands. A child… loved, cherished, cared for… very much like my own two children, and my heart breaks into a million tiny pieces.
Then I see the fury that is brewing on social media…fury, blame and anger aimed at the parents of the 2 year old, and it makes me want to bury my head in my hands and weep for what we have become.
People are citing parental negligence as the cause of this heart-breaking incident. But tell me…how many visitors walk that exact park each day? Each month? Each year?
How many children get close to the water’s edge, squeal with laughter and run excitedly back to their parents? How many wander around, happily creating memories, carefree and full of life?
Now tell me, how many have been attacked by an alligator while doing do? Disney has never had an incident like this occur before. And while Florida may be rife with alligators, they rarely attack humans.
NO ONE could have seen this coming.
The child was NOT unattended. He was NOT swimming. His parents were NOT negligent, and they DO NOT deserve this. No parent does.
The internet has killed our humanity. It has emboldened us to become horrible, horrible monsters … people we would never portray in real life.
Would anyone taking a dig at these parents have the guts to walk up to them, in this moment of utter grief, point a finger to their faces and say: “It’s your fault your child is dead. You should have been a better parent”
No one would dare say it to their faces, yet we sit happily behind our screens, the keyboard our assault weapon of choice, as we pick off strangers one by one.
Gorilla mom faced the internet’s fury when her child fell into Harambe’s enclosure. I admit, I was one of the first to point my finger. But in the end, my humanity won over my need to join the internet mob.
And a ‘mob’ is precisely what we’ve become. A bunch of angry, vile people, spewing words of hate and contempt to people we have never met, and will never know. We have become a society who has taken it as our duty to blame, to judge, and to tear apart anyone who has ever made a mistake.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a grieving mom, a panicked, helpless father…
It doesn’t matter if we made that same mistake last week. No one was there to see, and there was no tragic outcome, so it’s ok.
For all those thinking they know better and would have done better. Stop. Please stop.
A child is gone, his parents will NEVER recover from this pain and anguish. They will pay a price – far worse than you could ever wish on them – for the rest of their lives. So please, I implore you: Stop.
Stop letting anonymity make you less human. Stop letting your screen and keyboard make you the judge and the jury.
Please let compassion take over. Please, let humanity win.