Sunday, July 21, 2013

Is your child's safety not your responsibility?


How the child must have suffered. Imagine her cries, her vomit, her soiling herself, her loneliness as she falls into seizure. Her agony as her organs shut down one by one as the temperature rises higher and higher. And then, her only and final escape, into the loving arms of angels taking her to heaven, when everyone has forgotten about her.

Negligence is negligence, there no two way around it, no excuse, no justifying it. Passing the blame to others is very easy (and as some claim very humane too), this so called looking at the other side of the coin while fashionable these days cannot be applied to everything.

A child is dead, yes. No matter what we say or do now will bring her back. Neither will justifying what happened and blaming the mother's job stress, her employer etc.; but by championing her, making her look like the victim, it will create a ripple effect. New parents will begin to think that they are not accountable to what happen to their child(ren). Young generation may take this as an acceptable thing, to be applied as a parenting skill when the time comes for them to be a parent.

What if a child shoots her neighbor with a gun the father left  loaded on the table? Blame it on the police for not keeping the community safe, that he needs to keep a gun. A group of boys rape another child, imitating what they saw on one of their father's computer, blame the porn industry? 

Who remember the case where a little girl was beaten to death by her high on drug mom's boyfriend(who could possibly be the father to the child too)? Remember how the mother knew about it, saw how she was abused, yet did nothing. In fact she tried to cover up the murder. And what happened? All rushed to hug her and offered their condolences for her loss; is she not accountable at all for what she's done and not do? What about the child she's pregnant with then? Will she feels it's okay not to provide a good and more importantly safe environment for the child? What's next? A world where all children are to fend for themselves?

I know we are headed that way the day we start blaming other (or worse, fate) when a child dies after being left in a locked car with windows up under the hot blazing sun for over 6 hours by her own mother. When suddenly so many of us are outraged with those that are disturbed with the incident. They are made to feel ashamed for condemning what happened. Worse, they ask others not to judge her, to accept that it is fate, that she doesn't want her child dead, that she too must be feeling bad over the loss. So that washes her hands off any responsibility? So it's alright now for a mother to let her child drown in the bathroom because she's busy making milk for him? Or let the baby drink poisonous substance while she's busy loading the washing machine? After all, she's preoccupied, doing housework, not whiling her time away. And perhaps we can start transferring the blame to the father, for not being a better provider, he should provide domestic help to the mother. Or blame the child, why does he have to drown/get poisoned, doesn't he know the mother is busy? She is the mother after all, she loves the child, of course she doesn't want the child dead.

Some may do this to justify their own guilt, for they too may have once acted irresponsibly to their children. We are all humans, our lives are stressful, our jobs suck, our marriages miserable, and we make mistakes. And when we become aware of our mistakes, we thank God that nothing bad happened, yet the guilt is there, we feel remorse and we are more vigilant after that, because we don't want a tragedy to happen. We don't go out and tell everyone what almost happened and say that we accept that it's fate, so there's no care nor the need for us to feel responsible for it or take it as a lesson for the future. Saddest of all, some of these people are one to protest very harshly when they see pets mistreated by their owners, do we believe that our children deserve to be treated less humanely than animals? Can't we protest as hard for our children too?

I understand what happened is fate, something determined by the Almighty. As a Muslim, we believe in Qada' and Qadar. I accept that, no two ways about. Yet,what's the point of living if we don't try to right what's wrong, if we don't better our lives, if we don't attempt to be better human by setting an example for the future generation. while I hate people (Malaysian especially) overzealous  public attack and shaming her (and whatever the current target is), I still think making her the victim and advocating that we should stop judging her for what happened is truly not in good taste.

Call me a hypocrite, if I were to meet the mother face to face, I may comfort her and offer my condolences too. I may not say to her face that her negligence caused Iris's death, but that's as far humane I will be to her. By all mean, go ahead comfort her, but don't say she's done nothing wrong. By not inflicting direct pain or attack the mother, that doesn't mean that I don't believe that she's responsible for the death. Neither will that makes me go on the internet and make a big fuss to champion her, because I know so many of us these days are very into mob-mentality, we just love to follow the mass, to support a cause just because it's fashionable. I am so afraid of living in a world where parents are not responsible anymore for the well-being of their child (while under their care too). God knows how many very impressionable young (and not so young) adults are out there, that may make this their life mantra. 

Go ahead, say what you want. Label me what you may. That I don't have a child of my own, hence I have no right to have a say on this, that I don't understand the stress of motherhood, that I don't feel the burden of being a working mother. That I am not in the stressful profession so I can't fathom the workload (actually I was once part of the noble profession, for all of three wonderful years). That I don't understand it's pardonable to let your child die a painful death due to heatstroke because you got to rush to work. That I shouldn't see it as man-slaughter at least, and shouldn't even call it negligence.

There is this thing called common-sense. If you are lacking of it, or don't care to have one, then perhaps you don't deserve to be a parent, more so a mother.

Alright, I won't be too judgmental, but someone has got to be responsible for the children. Most logically, that should be the parents.

Just a ranting of a childless woman, who also happens to be a human.

Nawal Iris Samsudin 
2010 - 2013

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