I had decided that I wouldn’t give in to the pressing urge to comment on the social media posts, viral articles or engage in the conversations that have been happening over the past few days.
The death of silver-back gorilla, the ‘Handsome Harambe’.
My heart has been overwhelmed every since I heard of this tragic and unfortunate incident. As most media viewers, I had so many questions and thoughts when I first heard the story and watched the snippet video footage.
The first thought and prayer that I had was regarding the safety of the toddler boy.
Being the mother of a toddler myself, I could only dare to even try and place myself in the mother’s shoes. I would not under any circumstances want to be in her position of fear that my child was going to die right before my very eyes.
Does this mean that I didn’t sympathize with Harambe and his zoo family?
Actually, at one point I found myself in tears over the fact that he had to die. After hearing all of the facts, there was no doubt that the zoo administration made the right decision. I firmly believe that when placed in a decisive situation to choose between an animal and a human, people’s lives should always be protected.
But this does not ignore the fact how I feel about Harambe. I had never heard of him until this incident. By watching the limited view of the footage and my knowledge of gorillas, I never thought that he ever intentionally meant to harm the little boy. As a matter fact, I shared with a few friends how had this situation occurred in an isolated place in the wilderness or without panic onlookers, things probably would have turned out differently.
For the purpose of this post, I won’t get into the mundane details of the gorilla’s intentions and ability to harm the child. There should be no argument that the child was in danger based upon the distinctive sizes alone.
While recently watching another CNN interview about the story, I couldn’t help but become a bit irritated. It seems as though people are insisting on causing more pain and division between the little boy’s family and the Cincinnati Zoo.
Enough is enough.
It amazes me how people can be so cruel and disrespect life. There are even those who seek to persecute the mother.
Can I be honest?
I too had thoughts about the mother’s negligence of her child and still don’t have full clarity about that. Regardless, how anyone judges or criticizes her parental behavior, it does not give us the right to condemn her.
The same way it doesn’t’ give us the right to badger or criticize the zoo keepers for their decision.
Grief is processing itself with all those that worked with Haramabe, those who are general animal lovers and like me who just plain appreciate that Harambe was a jewel and that we as a human race were placed to be his steward and failed him.
As it has been repeatedly said, it was a no win situation.
Gratefulness is at work because God did not allow the heading to be “Boy Killed by Beast”. This would have been devastating. No one in his or her right mind would have wanted this to be the outcome.
It is possible for grief and gratefulness to co-exist. Can we take time to celebrate the life of the little boy who has remained nameless due to the nature of this situation? While we are doing that it is okay for those that worked with and cared about the gorilla to celebrate his life as well.
But first, allow them to grieve. Allow them to grieve without being criticized for not being happy that the little boy is alive. They obviously had to make an executive decision that no leadership ever wants to make, but has to do. Sometimes you have to bleed while leading. Let us not cut deeper into their wounds.
Let us not cast stones at the mother who is just grateful that God protected her son. She too is grieving over this situation. But it doesn’t mean she has to be punished because the headlines were reversed.
What if it were you?