Warning: this blog post may offend some people. I am open to hearing your opinion if you so wish and welcome any comments.
Today I have been in debate with people on social media in regards to a couple of news articles that have been posted, and it was quite disheartening that all I received was abuse and angry comments for speaking my mind.
The news articles were in relation to the following:
1. Four teenagers who hit a pedestrian, who was a mother of two, while riding monkey bikes illegally. The teenagers fled the scene and were arrested two days later. The woman had her life support switched off today.
2. An eighteen year old girl didn’t know she was pregnant until the baby started crowning. She put her hand over the baby’s mouth and placed it in a bag under a tree. The baby died.
Now, these are both horrific incidents, and I am by no means condoning the behaviour; nor do I agree with their actions. I also do not believe any of these teenagers are innocent, and I agree that they need to abide by the law. My heart goes out to the family of the woman who has now passed, and all who are affected by it.
The article about the teenager who gave birth unexpectedly was a well written piece that took into account different aspects of the situation, including the need for baby drop off points and the state that the girl must have been in to react in that manner. I thanked the writer in the comments section for seeing both sides of the story, yet the rest of the comments were directing hate towards the girl, with people basically saying she is a murderer and should be locked up. My personal opinion is that she will have to live with what she did for the rest of her life and that it is punishment enough.
In regards to the motorbike accident (because it was in fact that-an accident), my comment was simply this: “Bloody hell, they’re just kids”. Well, I got called the devil, amongst other things, and after I elaborated on my comment by talking about how I simply meant that I genuinely felt compassion for all involved (including the teenagers and their families), the comments against me came flooding in very quickly!
Now again, I don’t condone what these boys did, however I am in a headspace where I can appreciate that everyone is human, and in this particular instance, we are talking about children. These boys were aged between 15 and 17, and while they clearly did the wrong thing, they are still children. They have the rest of the their lives ahead of them and their foolish actions a mean they are going to have to live with fact that they killed an innocent mother of two for the rest of their lives. Of course, they are going to have to deal with whatever the courts dish out to them, and I agree, they’ll need to suffer the consequences. That doesn’t mean though that they should just be ‘written off’ as scumbags (as they were called by some) for the remainder of their lives.
In reading comments posted on both of these articles, all I saw was hate. Not once did I see a comment made by anyone who had taken a moment to consider how this may affect those who caused these incidents or their families, and I guess, I probably shouldn’t have expected to. After all, people have a right to be angry. But whatever happened to compassion? Healing? Education? These are after all, children. They may be teenagers, but they are still children. Children who are supposed to have their whole lives ahead of them. Children who, with the right attitudes and support from people around them still have a chance at living a productive and meaningful life. Children who have made a terrible mistake that has now changed their lives forever.
There were more than likely people who read my comments on those articles and agreed with me, but were too scared to reply, or to even hit the like button for fear of being judged. I wish though, that more people would speak up. Society are too quick to just write people off and simply hate them for what they’ve done, yet if there was a little more compassion and understanding amongst us, perhaps some of these children might actually have a chance at living some kind of ordinary life in future, instead of being labelled ‘a criminal and nothing more’. If that’s all they’re led to believe they are from now on, then of course they’ll live up to that label.
One of the responses I got from my comment on the motorbike incident was, “would you make the same comment if it was one of your family members? I don’t think so”.
My answer to that is yes. While I would obviously be devastated if it were one of my family members who was hit, I would be equally distressed if it were my son who had made an error in judgement when out with his mates one day and ended up killing someone. I said it in my comments, and I’ll say it again. I genuinely feel compassion for all involved. I may be a minority in feeling this way, but I stand by it.