Do we really care about other people's children?
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If we really felt responsible for other people’s children — then how could so many children be in so much peril for so many reasons? If we had alerts for all the neglected and abused and exploited children, the noise of the amber alerts would be unbearable
What are your thoughts on the following article ?
DO We Really Care About Other Peoples Children
Which is probably for the best because I let the reply be based off my emotional response to the article. Which I believe that was the authors attempt, to elicit an emotional response.
To address some of the stuff in the beginning of the article, I thought I’d share a little about the Amber alert and some program stuff for teenage mothers. Sure, that is not the whole point of the article but I felt it was worth sharing.
The AMBER Alert System began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnaped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, TX, and then brutally murdered. Other states and communities soon set up their own AMBER plans as the idea was adopted across the nation.
Every successful AMBER plan contains clearly defined activation criteria. The following guidance is designed to achieve a uniform, interoperable network of plans across the country, and to minimize potentially deadly delays because of confusion among varying jurisdictions. The following are criteria recommendations:
Law Enforcement Confirms an Abduction
AMBER plans require law enforcement to confirm an abduction prior to issuing an alert. This is essential when determining the level of risk to the child. Clearly, stranger abductions are the most dangerous for children and thus are primary to the mission of an AMBER Alert. To allow activations in the absence of significant information that an abduction has occurred could lead to abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness. At the same time, each case must be appraised on its own merits and a judgment call made quickly. Law enforcement must understand that a “best judgment” approach, based on the evidence, is appropriate and necessary.
Risk of Serious Bodily Injury or Death
Plans require a child be at risk for serious bodily harm or death before an alert can be issued. This element is clearly related to law enforcement’s recognition that stranger abductions represent the greatest danger to children. The need for timely, accurate information based on strict and clearly understood criteria is critical, again keeping in mind the “best judgment” approach.
Sufficient Descriptive Information
For an AMBER Alert to be effective in recovering a missing child, the law enforcement agency must have enough information to believe that an immediate broadcast to the public will enhance the efforts of law enforcement to locate the child and apprehend the suspect. This element requires as much descriptive information as possible about the abducted child and the abduction, as well as descriptive information about the suspect and the suspect’s vehicle. Issuing alerts in the absence of significant information that an abduction has occurred could lead to abuse of the system and ultimately weaken its effectiveness.
Age of Child
Every state adopt the “17 years of age or younger” standard; or, at a minimum, agree to honor the request of any other state to issue an AMBER Alert, even if the case does not meet the responding state’s age criterion, as long as it meets the age criterion of the requesting state. Most AMBER plans call for activation of the alert for children under a certain age. The problem is that age can vary---some plans specify 10, some 12, some 14, 15, and 16. Differences in age requirements create confusion when an activation requires multiple alerts across states and jurisdictions. Overuse of the AMBER Alert system will undermine its effectiveness as a tool for recovering abducted children.
NCIC Data Entry
Immediately enter AMBER Alert data into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system. Text information describing the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the child should be entered, and the case flagged as a Child Abduction. Many plans do not mandate entry of the data into NCIC, but this omission undermines the entire mission of the AMBER Alert initiative. The notation on the entry should be sufficient to explain the circumstances of the disappearance of the child. Entry of the alert data into NCIC expands the search for an abducted child from the local, state, or regional level to the national. This is a critical element of any effective AMBER Alert plan.
Summary of Department of Justice Recommended Criteria
- There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
- The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
- There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
- The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger.
- The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
“I’m not sure why empathy is so out of fashion.”
Honestly, I am not sure if the author is trying to elicit an emotional response from the reader or if it just pisses me off because of my past experiences.
I will say that it takes a community to raise a child. That does not mean that everyone in the community has the particular burden of that child but every child that you come into contact with you influence one way or another, rather you want to or not. That is just part of living in a community. And we all have responsibility to each other! So if someone needs help we should help them. Or at least point them to where they can find help.
I hate the seemingly popular idea in some circles that the state or some random group of “experts” knows what’s best for us or our progeny. As far as I am concerned, until one has successfully raise a child to adulthood and that child is at least starting down the path to being a successful pillar and contributing member of that society, that person doesn’t know crap about raising children or what would be best for anyone. It is purely speculative and hypothetical. And just because one person raised a/some children successfully does not mean they will have the answer for other children and family situations as all are unique and individualistic.
Next, I will say that I do not believe that empathy and sympathy are good reasons or things to make or base laws or rules from or on. And even if everything is done right, the right choices are made, people can still have a shitty life. That’s just how it is. It is very unfortunate! And we should be there to help and support those people and children. And even with all the help and rules and laws people can provide and come up with, it still may not make a difference.
All that said, I know exactly how the children in that article feel. The way life is for them. And what they go through. I was that starving child in the hallway that relied on school lunches. I had the abusive guardians. I moved constantly because we couldn’t pay rent. I wore old, torn a tattered rags because we couldn’t buy new clothes. I went hungry many times because I made sure my little brother ate before I did and if there wasn’t enough, then there just wasn’t enough. I stole to eat. And through all of it, it was the church that helped us. Not some teacher or government program. It was the kind generosity of others in the community that helped feed us, get us jobs and even provide Christmas. I could go on and on about the horrors that were my childhood but what purpose would it serve.
Rather, I will go on with what I learned from those experiences…
Determination, perseverance, perspective, compassion and faith; these are the most important lessons from my childhood.
But my dad had no other skills. So he went to doing the only jobs he could get. He would work as a gas station attendant or fast food clerk during the daytime hours and clean houses and offices at night. All this was back when the country was in a recession so work was not always stable. My mom would complain that he was eating the rent and claimed that he would get dinner at the fast food places and eat all the money that he had earned. But I went with him on a pretty regular basis to help him clean and I saw my dad take pizza out of a trash can, microwave it an eat it. He looked at me and shyly grinned saying that if you cook it enough it kills all the bad stuff.
I haven’t seen my dad in 19 years. He was/is ashamed. And I would love to tell him that he doesn’t have to be, we turned out alright.
My mom knew that we kids needed structure and stability. And rather than go and get a job, she stayed at home to take care of us. And I have to agree that it was the right choice.
Even if I knew everything and had all the right answers and made all the right choices, I would have no place making decision for others. First, that takes away their freedom. And no matter how perfect I could make another’s life they would be miserable. We can’t be happy unless we can choose our own path.
Utopia doesn’t exist. And I don’t think that we, human beings, can make it either. And that is why we as individuals have to be able and willing to help others. The problems of the world can seem huge and overwhelming. And we can’t fix them all. But what we can do is help those that are in our direct sphere of influence. As Mahatma Ghandi is accredited with saying, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
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Thank you for sharing the guidelines , there was a lot of that that i did not know , i never understood why one child was worth headlines and others remained hidden or even forgotten , i must say , i did not have an emotional response to the article , i was and am very driven to find actual proof of neglect by authorities and parents etc. I did not feel the author tried to elicit an emotional response and i hardly agree with all his points because they lack proof and the experience he had with Teachers and you Wes had with Churches or even a Community is alien to me.
I agree that it takes a village to raise a kid , after my 11th year i found that village and it went uphill from there, school, friends etc. The community was never very tight where i come from , even family ties are not that close , i hardly ever see my siblings and other relatives. About bringing up children and caring about other people's children. I have been the Foster Parent of 3 girls , and a crisis Mum for 2 girls here in the village. And i have a daughter of my own. Most of them are doing very well , i am the Bonus grandmother of 6 children that are of my foster child Simone. And still i don't know if i am fit to raise a child !! Every child is different , with different needs , and some kids are just opportunistic little shits...and still we try to love them and care for them. I want that love for every child , unachievable , not possible , but i have already made a few happy so i totally feel you on the “look around you and see what you can do “ part. And i have little faith in the authorities , although , with my detective license i can work for the Child Protection programs and other authorities that do work for children and teenagers.
Sadly i recognize a lot of what you say about the children that were sent to school without food , wearing worn down clothes and that hurts a lot , i understand that , the thing is , my parents were well off , we had food , clothes, a roof over our heads , we tried to help the people around us , but where we lived was so much drug violence and it was so unsafe. People did not understand the values we had , neither did they try to understand that we thought that sharing was caring. It was each for themself and there was much jalousy. And yet our door was always open , my father made tomato soup for half the neighbourhood and even took my 14 year old friend Bertie in when she got pregnant. It took years of persistence and keeping our spirits up to make people realise we meant well, they started to trust us.
Laws should be grounded in reason. common sense and not the flavour of the month. Laws should also not be based on telling others what to do i think, That is why most laws are flawed. Especially the ones concerning children services. They do more damage that good and in fact as you pointed out damage the self-reliance and the right to live and grow in your own unique way.
What i learned from my past is a great sense of responsibility for others , a great hunger for justice and a drive to do better. To be better , to persevere. And what i am learning now is restraint and discipline so i can finish my education and go and do what i am good at
This author, sobbing over his tacos, is virtue-signalling. While his heart may be in the right place, he's ignorant. He doesn't point to the root of the real problem. I bet this guy doesn't have kids of his own, to be honest. He talks about income inequality, gang violence, and young, ill-prepared teenage parents. Well, there's a very obvious but not-poltiically-correct answer to that, too.
This guy, Larry Strauss, doesn't care about other people's kids like he wants you to believe. I'm sure he rants and raves about children being separated from their "parents" (using quotation marks because usually those they arrive with aren't their parents) at the U.S./Mexico border but won't stop to think that maybe these "parents" shouldn't have forced their children to travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles across Cartel infested waste-land.
Put your emotions aside, think with your mind and not with your heart. If everyone loved and protected their own children then we wouldn't have to worry about everyone else's.
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I am sure the writer things he is acting with a good heart , but like you and Wes , i also miss the logic , there must be a way to act and help that is grounded in reason rather than a gut feeling. I get that he wants us to care , but we need to care for the right reasons,
The distrust in authority stems from the trial and error based laws that are grounded in overacted emotions and running behind the facts, For us to gain trust that people are safe with us we have to have clear outlines and principles that we dont stray from , without taking away the self-determination from parents and people that put their trust in us.
If you ever want to tell why you think the way you do , you can always pm me , you know we are here for you as you have been there for me
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I do believe that I can care about other people's children, but realistically I care most when there is a familial or emotional connection to me. I feel like this is only natural. I feel a desire to protect and care for my own. From a biological sense, everyone else is either competition or someone else's problem to raise. I might have an opinion about how the neighbor is disciplining their kid, but if it doesn't effect me and the activity isn't illegal, it's none of my business. I don't have children of my own, so my focus and care goes to my nieces first, and then my close friend's children. These are the one's I will make an effort to protect and provide for financially, emotionally, and spiritually.
That said, I consider myself an empathetic and compassionate person. If I see a child alone and crying, I will try to comfort them and find their guardian. In an emergency, I like to think I would put myself in harm's way to protect any child before worrying about other adults. Given a choice, I will spend my money to feed, clothe, and educate children before I will spend it to support adults. I'm happy to see my tax dollars paying for school lunches and healthcare for children. I learned this from both of my parents who were lifelong school teachers. Both of them put a tremendous amount of time, effort, and love into teaching and caring for other people's kids. Sometimes they could truly make a difference in the trajectory of a child's life, so I do believe that caring for the children of others can be effective and beneficial. It is just not necessarily my first instinct and I don't proactively look for ways to help on a regular basis.
What I have learned from working alongside you all here in the Order is that recognizing my perspective and being honest about it is the beginning to understanding how I can turn my perspective and experience into helpful action. I don't know what it is like to be poor and I don't have children of my own. I wasn't abused and I didn't have to rely on my church, the government, or strangers in order to survive and thrive. Because of that, I realize the importance of relying on you all to guide me and offer suggestions when it comes to issue like this that I'm not all that familiar with. I learned long ago from my wife that no matter how much I think I can empathize with women, I'm not a woman Sometimes it is best to shut up and listen to those who actually know what they are talking about.
First Knight (Nov 26th, 2018)
Battlefield Commission - Knight
Apprentice to Wescli Wardest
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Sometimes it is best to shut up and listen to those who actually know what they are talking about.
That is always a good idea , however , people can have had too many problems and then it helps when a fresh unspoiled pair of eyes shime in.
The thing is , when you had it good , you know what your parents did right , you know how much they loved you and protected you , so , you are the right person to communicate what that love and protection should look like where as an abused person could be blind to certain aspects as you are blind to certain aspects , but that is just my opinion , something i just cooked up having read what you wrote.
I think the author missed the opportunity to point out that one action affects all , meaning ,we are all responsible for our actions , but when someone crashes your car , you have to take it to the garage and hope that the person who crashed it will pay up , but still ,its your responsibility as an adult. Same goes for abused and neglegted people. If they are not aware they can get into trouble , like i did, like many of us did.
Besides , there are many things that i have not been through and there are many things that i am very blessed with. The point being , i can be emphatic without actually having lived the experience , and so can we all. Whitin Reason , ..pun intended
Senan wrote: For better or worse, I find that I often have a naive, if not somewhat pretentious perspective on a lot of issues like this. It is because I grew up very privileged and continue to live a privileged life today. It is easy for me, like this author, to sit on the sidelines and tell other people the "right" way to raise their kids because the world I have lived in has always given me more than I ever needed. I've never been hungry or lacking sufficient clothing. I've rarely had to struggle financially and I've always had a parachute of wealthy parents to rely on. With this disclaimer out of the way, I'll share my most honest opinion.
Senana, though I appreciate your honest disclaimer regarding the circustances of your childhood, you should not see yourself as priviledged for having parents that loved and cared for you. That is what all parents should do. The only problem resulting from that is if you failed to appreciate your upbringing and squandered the opportunities that arose from that stable base.
By all means, I am not criticizing you for the way you feel but I want to dispell a modern myth. That myth being- we live in a world where normalcy is misconstrued to mean "priviledge." If you are not brought up poor or subjected to a terrible domestic situation as a child then you are suppose to think of yourself as privileged; meaning you enjoy special rights or immunity to life's woes. This is an unhealthy way to view oneself. In reality, being loved and cared for by one's parents and given every opportunity to succeed is the way things ought to be.
In my opinion, you are not privileged but rather burdened. Burdened with the responsiblity to do the same for your children and use that upper hand to build your family's legacy and improve the world around you. We should see an upward trend throughout the generations. Each one that comes after the preceeding one should enjoy more stability (or modernly known as "privilege") if done correctly. With that upward trend of stability for our children we should see an upward trend in the stability and growth of society. Unfortunately that is not the case and is a topic for another discussion...
Perhaps if we as a society stopped treating having children as a box to be ticked and more like one of the greatest of lifes responsibilities, not to be taken lightly or without serious consideration, we may start to see a shift.
I cant tell you how many frustrated parents I deal with on a daily basis who feel like they are in this parenting thing alone. How many barely have the head space to keep up with their responsibilities, let alone find room for other peoples kids. And how many are simply too self interested to give of their time to participate in the "village".
I can certainly empathize with the articles author. I have days where I simply cant deal emotionally with some of what I see. and some days where it makes me incredibly angry. But im uniquely placed to actually make a difference which helps. Teachers are not powerless in this.
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In general and this is not pointed at anyone who commented here , i think its pointless to complain about people not caring , it does not stop the not caring. That is why i wanted your opinion on this article , because although i think the author has a point , i dont see any real solutions offered to solve this issue other than pressing people to get involved. For some reason applying more pressure is just what most parents dont need