By now we have all heard a little too much about the recent issue of a Gorilla being killed after a four year old child fell into his enclosure. Certainly it was frightening for everyone involved. But, here are my two cents…
Too often in my work as a therapist I am confronted by working with adults who put their children in harms way especially in my past role working with families in the juvenile justice system. This story does not strike me as one of those moments. Nor am I attempting to criticize anyone for their actions. Instead, what stands out to me is that our society has become so harsh and critical that seemingly overnight, a story about an accident, can have thousands of people placing blame in so many different directions. How about a moment of compassion? A moment to pause and think about how quickly life can change?
It is clear to me that as a society we have reached a critical point. A point at which the unknown is absolutely intolerable. We have become so accustom to a false sense control in our everyday lives that we not only need a saying like “you only live once (yolo)” to try to shake us awake but in the split second of a accident it easier to kill first and ask questions later. This gorilla incident is not the first we have heard of something like this and unfortunately, it may not be the last.
As with many of my blogs, I will end with a suggestion for change. Perhaps if we all took a moment to be present in our lives, slow down, and maybe cut back on the caffeine a bit, we could see all of the beauty that can happen in the unknown. For me, I see it often; the client that commits to change, the parent that finds support in the community, the teen who begins to hear their own inner voice instead of the pressure of their peers, and many other ways that I see people over come adversity everyday. These moments of unknown can be scary and sometimes they don’t go our way, but sometimes if we stop to listen they can produce beautiful moments.