Every time I build up a little faith in humanity, something comes along and reminds me just how awful we are as a species. Case in point: last week News9.com reported that a couple was arrested by Rogers County sheriffs while robbing a home in Claremore.
Oh, and their 4-month-old child was waiting in the car while mommy and daddy picked up some new silver. Really.
In 2010 there were 720,000 substantiated reports of child abuse, according to a report by the Administration for Children and Families. In that same document, there were 3.6 million reports.
Three point six million.
And the worst bit? Of those confirmed reports, 78.3 percent are neglect — as in, forgetting a child exists, forgetting to feed or bathe or shelter a living human being that is wholly dependent on adults for every aspect of his or her life.
So many of us today think only of ourselves. The ’90s and ’00s bred a culture of entitlement, a culture that encouraged individuals to be proud of themselves simply for breathing and standing upright. And now, more than ever, many consider a crying child a nuisance rather than a helpless individual in need of assistance.
Worse, there may not be a way to fix this. Certainly I don’t see one. We may, as a culture, have hit the point of no return long ago. How could I say that?
Those of weak stomach should grab a bowl for this next bit. Pet-Abuse.com lists a total of 1,214 pet abuse cases in the U.S. for that same year. Let me put that in perspective:
Of the 3.6 million reports of child abuse, 720,000 were confirmed. There were 1,214 confirmed actionable cases of pet abuse. That’s more than 500 times as many cases.
As a society, we treat pets better than we treat children.
God help us all.
To contact Jeremy Cloud, email firstname.lastname@example.org.