October 22, 2011

What's A Life Worth

This is a video of a 2-year old girl run over several times–first by a van and then by a truck–and left lying in the street for 7 minutes, as 18 people pass by without stopping or calling for help.
Are people too busy? Are they afraid to get involved? Are they somehow blinded to what is happening?
Watching the video again and again–the little girl seems to be treated as basically worthless, and it just doesn't seem to make any sense:
–Why didn't the van or truck stop when they saw the little girl?
–Why did they just drive off after hitting her?
–Why didn't anyone else try and stop them–verbally, physically?
–Why didn't anyone step in front of the child and try to stop traffic?
–Why didn't anyone seemingly call for help?
–Where were the toddler's parents or guardians?
I don't know and can't imagine the answer to any of these questions, but I do know that society must answer for this dead child, because this child could be anyone's child, and this unfortunate scene could happen anywhere in the world.
In stark contrast, this same week, Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Shalit held captive for 5 years and 4 months was released by Hamas in a prisoner swap by Israel of more than a 1000 for 1–bringing him home to a hero's welcome and cries of "Welcome home Gilad!"
While I am not judging the security calculus of releasing so many potential recidivist terrorists for Gilad, I do believe that no one's child can be left behind–whether for 7 minutes in an accident or 5 years in captivity–we all have a duty to help those in need.
Life is precious and how we treat it is a test of our spirit, mettle, and underlying social norms.


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