Surviving Critical Times Hard To Deal With

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Does A Society Like This Deserve To Exist?

"And Jehovah felt regrets that he had made men in the earth, and he felt hurt at his heart. So Jehovah said: “I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground, from man to domestic animal, to moving animal and to flying creature of the heavens, because I do regret that I have made them.” "And the earth came to be ruined in the sight of the true God and the earth became filled with violence. So God saw the earth and, look! it was ruined, because all flesh had ruined its way on the earth. After that God said to Noah: “The end of all flesh has come before me, because the earth is full of violence as a result of them; and here I am bringing them to ruin together with the earth". Genesis

Newspaper reporters are supposed to be a hard-bitten lot; jaded two-fisted drinkers and chain-smoking, curmudgeonly types. I know that was true many years ago, but that stereotype has largely fallen by the wayside, and gone the way of the dinosaur. Today’s reporters, for the most part, like to play it safe, and a hell of a lot of them spend more time cozying up to stories, than they do reporting them. Playing it safe, and pleasing the advertisers, has become the credo for many news organizations. I’m an old guy, from the old school, still kind of curmudgeonly, and definitely jaded. Once in awhile an item crosses my desk however, that gives me pause. It generally falls into either one of two categories; a wire release or a press report of a story so stupid it makes you wonder why anybody bothered with it. Or one. like I am about to discuss, which just hits you in the solar plexus so damn hard you gasp for a breath and wonder what ever happened to humanity? Where did we lose our moral compass? By now Nevadans and others are familiar with the small child recently found dead in a Las Vegas dumpster. Jane Cordova Doe, they are calling her. This was a small child, 3 feet tall, weighing 23 pounds, and she suffered chest trauma sufficient to cause her death, a homicide. The computer-reconstructed image in the photograph shows a small, innocent young girl. The clothes the child was wearing, according to news reports, were clean, and appeared to be recently purchased. For three weeks now, authorities have distributed this photo, description and certain details nationally. The case has been featured on national television, and all of the network news shows. And still nothing on the child’s identity has surfaced. One of the more famous quotations from my Lit days in school, was from John Donne’s Meditations, number XVII. “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less . . . any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind . . ."

As I’ve been following this child’s death, and the ignominy of her being discarded like a piece of household trash; I thought also of the murders of two infants just this past year here in P______. It was then that Donne’s quote entered my mind. I kind of twisted it up; “No child is an island, unto itself . . . "Someone, somewhere, at sometime, knew this child. A grandmother at one time hugged her. A stranger looked at this child and thought how beautiful she was. A mother, at some point, nurtured her. How did she come to this place, this inglorious end, in a dumpster like another piece of society’s flotsam and jetsam? What horrific crime can a child do that he or she is murdered for it? What infantile indiscretion could lead to disposing of a child in a dumpster? No child is an island, we all know this child, because we are all part of mankind.The point of Donne’s quote was that we are not isolated from one another, we are interconnected. We are all connected to this child in the dumpster, just as we are all connected to the children who were murdered right here in P______. They were not isolated, we knew them, and we were silent. And in that silence, that rush to material consumption, which devours our society, we are culpable. Have we become so hardened to the sufferings of the less fortunate that the murder of children is no more than another blip on the radar screen of our “I want it all now” lives?
This child, and all the children deserve more than this. They deserve more than anonymity. They deserve more than to be viewed as only inconvenient fixtures accompanying our headlong rush along the freeway of life. They deserve to live in a world without fear, in an environment free of recrimination and abuse. They deserve to play, and experience the wonderment of childhood. They deserve to dream, to imagine, to wade in a stream, and skip a stone. They deserve to live.You can contact Frank Pitz at


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