There was a story that smacked me right in the face over the last few days.
Three children were found — abandoned, all of them 3 years old or younger — at a “vacant residence” in Portland, Oregon, on Thursday morning. The mother of the children was later found and identified by the police after the news had hit the media. The youngest child was between 8-15 months old, weighing 15 pounds.
I haven’t seen anything in the way of further details as to why the mother abandoned her children that way, or why she felt the need to abandon them at all. In no way would I ever condone the way in which the children were abandoned by her. But there are a variety of reasons I can think of as to why she may have done it, and not all of them have to do with the woman being an addict or an alcoholic.
I’ve followed this story on CNN.com ever since I saw the breaking news.
Outside of the usual blame and finger-pointing — outside of the typical remarks about how terrible the mother is and how she must be a junkie or some grungy immigrant who needs to find a job — was a comment that I found in that article from a man named Marc Shakter that I thought was worth highlighting:
“They wonder how it could happen? It’s easy, homeless parent or parents on the streets. Even if the parent or parents aren’t hopeless alcoholics or drug addicts it’s real easy for low income workers to end up on the streets. There’s no such thing as job security or hard work paying off anymore. What’s sad is the kids were dragged into it by their guardians. They could have dropped them off at a hospital, police station or other safe haven.”
Yes, the mother of those three children could have done something much better than abandoning them in that way. However, before condemning anyone, I will say this: Desperation in today’s impoverished times makes even typically level-headed people think awful things. Even among people who love their children dearly, and only want the best for them, they can sometimes think of what would otherwise be heartbreaking “solutions” in order to save their children from living through such a hard life.
Sometimes even level-headed parents can consider putting their children in a different place that would offer them a better life if it begins to look as though the parents themselves aren’t going to provide that for them, leaving the parents themselves to suffer through the hard times and sparing the children that kind of agony.
Poverty — or even the threat of it — can make a person think some awful thoughts that they wouldn’t otherwise normally consider. But that’s where we are at in America these days.
Like it or not, it’s time to take a hard look at it. It’s there. I’ve seen it all too often myself.
What kind of America do we really live in? What kind of America do we want to live in?
Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media
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