Gary GruberLearning LifeSAME QUESTION AGAIN
May 23 , 2017 /


There were times, especially during the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s when we knowingly broke the law and did instead what we believed was right, good and in the best interests of others. It was our belief, our conscience and our own code of ethics. Of course that was controversial as you might expect, and while we were willing to face and pay the consequences for our actions, they were miniscule compared to the likes of Nelson Mandela and others who have taken a stand against a much larger authority whom they believed was wrong.

That question was repeated for me again, not in the context of what’s going on currently with resistance against our current government administration, although I suppose you could apply it there as well. That could be relevant if you are a scientist, someone concerned about climate change, or health care, truth telling, social justice, you name it. Or, just an ordinary, concerned citizen.

This particular case was about a child with a bad mother who was a drug addict, neglected her child and BINGO, her child disappeared. The big question in the story was who did it and why. You might ask why no one called child protective services to report the mother and let the state or county swoop in and remove the child. Regardless, that didn’t happen.

There was not a long list of possible perpetrators. In fact, no one could figure out why anyone would kidnap this four-year old girl although the number of children who go missing every year in the U.S. is staggering. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States — that’s roughly 2,000 per day. Of those, there are 115 child “stranger abduction” cases each year, which means the child was taken by an unknown person.

The majority are “kidnapped” by an estranged parent or concerned relative. In most of these cases the child is returned within a very short period of time. The downside to some other of these stories is that there are people out there who are harboring perverted, deranged and twisted minds and looking for young children whom they want to use for their own sick and hurtful purposes.

OK, so here’s the question. If you knew where that four-year old child was and saw clearly that she was much better off, happier and healthier and safer than in her previous environment, what would you do? Would you call the cops or would you look the other way and walk away? Would you knowingly put the child back into harm’s way or let the authorities deal with it? Would you knowingly support breaking the law in the interests of this child or would you do what the law requires and put the child back into the mother’s care again? Do what you believe is right and break the law or follow the letter of the law and let someone else figure out a course of action? It’s a question each person has to answer for himself or herself and then, act accordingly. If you put the child’s needs as the highest priority, what then?

Comments (2)

  1. The do-gooder in me says, contact the authorities. The truly do-gooder in me prioritizes the child and her life. It’s impossible to say it would absolutely be better or even good for the long haul but someone has to take the side of the child. There is no easy, or right, answer.

    1. Yes, life’s like that and this seemed like a good illustration of no easy, right, clear response. The decision will reflect your values, beliefs and commitments one way or the other. It’s almost political and I don’t much like that word but there we are and here we are.

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