If you haven’t yet seen this video, I suggest you brace yourself for the flood of emotions that will saturate you if you feel you have to watch it. It is gut-wrenching in so many ways but what I found to be the most heart-breaking and shocking reality of it all, is that a man stood there and watched this horrific scene unfold in front of him and took video of it instead of rushing to comfort the screaming child. I have never witnessed such raw vulnerability from a child and although I can’t know exactly how I will react in a situation I have never experienced, I can guarantee my knee jerk reaction in this scenario would have been to help the child instead of grabbing my phone and exposing the most devastating and traumatic moment of her life on social media.
Our culture needs a serious re-boot, pronto. Since when did getting likes and shares on Facebook replace moral standards? I was taught as a young child to love my neighbor as myself, to be kind and helpful to others in need. When I was growing up, cell phones and social media didn’t even exist. I know, shocking right? And the most outrageous part of this is I’m only 32 years old. It wasn’t all that long ago that our culture was held together with threads of dignity and good faith instead of shock factor and exploitation.
We all know drugs are bad. We know that addiction destroys families. Most of us know this because we, ourselves, have battled addiction or we’ve known friends and/or family members who have. The drug epidemic is a problem in our country. WE KNOW THIS ALREADY. But it seems so many of us are unaware of the underlying issues that perpetuate addiction. They are, in essence, the same underlying issues that warrant such disturbing behavior on social media as exposing a vulnerable child in time of need.
So let’s stop focusing on the isolated incidences such as these and start looking at the big picture. Let’s step away from shock factor and pointing the finger and start turning inward, start looking at ourselves. Because the truth is, people who are addicted to drugs or porn or food or social media, all struggle with the same need: to be seen, heard and understood. Some people fill this need in healthy ways, like real life relationships with people and with God. Others, fill the need with whatever resources they have available to them at the time.