No Judging Allowed…Oh Wait.

Isn’t it terrible when a negligent parent somehow manages to turn away for an instant and a child’s curiosity takes him into a gorilla exhibit? And how cruel of the zoo staff to kill the poor, innocent animal. I mean, I don’t know anything about gorillas but surely something else could have been done. Because they wouldn’t kill the gorilla because it was the only option, right?

Yes, this has been my newsfeed.

An animal dies and everyone is enraged.

A child is saved by trained professionals. And nobody cares.

Not really.

Instead of being sad that the gorilla died and thankful a child survived such a harrowing experience, people are ready to hang everyone involved in the incident. Dishing out blame is the new national pastime. We sit behind the comfort of our screens and viciously pick apart people who make honest mistakes. People who make the decisive, difficult decisions. What have we become that this kind of news can elicit such harsh condemnation of a parent and the staff who had to make a very quick, tough call?

Being judgmental is such a terrible thing. Until it involves an animal’s death. Our society is all about not judging…until it involves an incident like the one we have observed this week. Then we completely lose our minds and pile on the judgment without mercy.

As a mom, I watch my kids very, very carefully. But there was still the time I discovered my child ran into the busy road to retrieve a toy. The time my heart stopped because I couldn’t find my kid at the playground for a few minutes. I haven’t lost a child (yet) at the zoo but I know it could happen so quickly. If anything, I feel compassion for the mother.

To an extent, I can understand the outrage of people who have never been around children. If you’ve never experienced life with a preschooler you have no idea how incredibly fast and sneaky they can be. But parents? We are better than this. How can we hold this mother in such contempt? It could happen to anyone of us. A little empathy and understanding goes a long way.




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