On a flight this past week, I sat behind a mother with a baby girl, about 14 months of age.
Every time the baby cried, the mother hit her. Every single time. Naturally, this only exacerbated the screams of the child and to everyone’s dismay, it was the mother that was the problem.
The baby was just being a baby. And the mother was clearly out of line. There is no excuse for hitting a child. Ever. And she hit hard.
I was outraged. I made eye contact with two other souls, men that shared my feelings. The crying and hitting went on for over an hour. Each time, we would shake our heads. It was terrible. Finally I leaned forward, so as to speak to the mother. I said in a loud, matter-of-fact tone: “Don’t hit that baby again.” And she did not.
Instead, she told this little baby to “chill” and to “stop” at least 50 times in a 20 minute period. Again, this is not parenting. This is ineptitude. This is precisely how we raise children that become teens and adults with “issues.”
What astounds me is the fact that everyone who witnessed this incident chose to do nothing. Even I waited too long. Why?
Additionally, as part of this same trip, in the security line in Atlanta, the TSA continues to boggle the mind. Whatever you think about them, pro or con, they should never speak to Americans like Nazi guards. They are in a public service capacity and not part of a militia. And again, no one says a word? Everyone just sheeples through? Why?
A friend sent me an email last week with a quote. In the email, he gave no explanation just sent the quote, from Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
We cannot look away. We must not accept maltreatment of ourselves or each other. We must stand for what is right. It is a slippery slope. By accepting things when we should not, those things become established as normal when they are not. We do this in the guise of minding our own business or because we are not able to determine how to traverse a bureaucratic system. It may seem that an abused little girl and the tone of the TSA are unrelated. What warrants the comparison is a look at our collective societal response to each. Apathy. Lack of action. Not stepping up. Not speaking up.
Someone must pierce the veil on these things. After my reprimand, that mother may stop and think. Maybe, maybe not. But what are we collectively teaching a baby girl who is in danger? That all the adults who see her plight choose to look away? And what are we accepting when we allow TSA agents to wield power they have not really been given?
Another quote to ponder:
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” ~ Hermann Goering, Nazi military leader, Commander of the Luftwaffe and President of the Reichstag under Hitler.
Be a force for change. At the end of the day, all we are collectively is who we are as individuals. Stand for what is right, good, just. Be brave. Speak up.
Author: Melanie Blenis
Editor: Travis May