Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Blame Game

Last week we read in the papers that a 5 year old girl went missing after going to the shop across the road from her house alone to buy noodles and eggs. The distraught mum was seen in the papers almost everyday, crying, wishing for her daughter's return.

Today, the front page of the newspaper said "charred remains of the girl was found just about 7km away from her house". 

Again, the papers showed a picture of the mum crying after the news of her daughter's death got out.

Just a few days after news of the missing child were published, many have expressed their anger at the mother of the child mainly for allowing her 5 year old daughter to go to the shops alone. 

Initially, I felt the same too. How could a mother let her 5 year old roam about, alone? 

A 5 year old!

After reading the articles, I actually wasn't surprised at all at the fact that the girl was allowed to go to the shops alone. 

You see, if you've ever stayed at a kampung (village) anywhere in Malaysia, you'd understand it. 

It is generally safe to let your child run around unattended if you were living in a kampung although nowadays, after all these cases of missing children in the past few years, you would think twice. But, nonetheless, it is quite safe and you should not judge the parents.

In a kampung, everybody and anybody within the area is somehow related and know each other. They know where you stay, whose child you are, the occupation of the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, how you're related to whom and so on. 

The same applies to the family of the missing girl. 

She went to a shop that belongs to her relatives, not far from home, alone. Along the way, she must've walked pass some houses of more relatives and they would've seen her. At least, the shop owner would have. It was said by the mum that most kids in the area played by themselves, among themselves, without adult supervision all the time since everyone knows everyone else. 

Looking back at my childhood, I understand. I went through the same thing too. My brother went through the same thing. So did my cousins and neighbours' kids. We played by ourselves all the time, unsupervised. 

So, what was the difference? Nothing.

Except maybe that she was unlucky.

Or perhaps that maybe the world has changed so much that we can't trust even our relatives anymore.

Or just maybe, if you're a believer, that God loves her more and it's time for her to go.

Whatever it is, do not the blame the parents for letting her go alone in the first place.

Yes, it is easy to do that. It's unfair to do that.

But just take a moment to think and imagine how it would be like if you were in her parents' shoes. 

Would you have done it differently? 

Just saying...

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