October 2013 has found us with a barrage of media highlighting the loss of innocence in South Africa. There has been the conviction of a couple for the rape and murder of their baby “Samantha”, children raped and murdered by a community member and left in a public toilet, a mother who allegedly poisoned her children and herself and her children and multiple abandonments with the intention that children die and many did die. These are the cases the media know about. We also met with students from Forensic pathology who highlighted that there are between 300 and 500 unnatural baby deaths in the Johannesburg mortuary per year and only 10% of those are investigable!
We live in a society where we acknowledge that we are a “throw away culture” and we are literally “throwing away babies”. If we are unable to afford children their first right ie the right to life, what of their other rights? We bring children into a world where on arrival their arrival they are not wanted and often hated, used, hurt or murdered.
If I we say this is a loss of innocence, there is the loss of the actual innocent child but there is also the loss of the innocence of our society at large. We, like a baby, look at the world with hope and wonder and see a future. We bring children into a world where we want to share the joy of what life can be. We see the media and shudder, what we have done?
For those who hurt and kill babies, and as a result
the innocence of our society, we as a society must have killed their humanity when they were children. To be human is to be cared for so we can care. If we murder, we must be dead inside. We, as a society raised these murderers we are so enraged by. We see communities respond decisively with rage at the death of innocence and these acts of commission are deserving of rageful condemnation. What we seem to be missing is that it appears that the acts of omission, or the neglect of childhood, results in a adults who are capable of the destruction of innocence in rage or in total absence of any emotion, the latter being the more terrifying.
How do you teach the uncared for to care?