I read a news article today. It was about a girl, who was 17, who went missing Thursday. The reporter wrote about how she’d been found at her friends house. She was in an argument with her mother. She left her phone and all of her belongings that she had on her at the dance studio she went to, where she was last seen.
Whenever I read something like this, I think in a compassionate way, what led the child to run away? What was the argument about? Did her mother behave aggressively when in an argument? Was her side not being heard? Was she extremely disrespected and verbally abused in arguments with her mother? Was she having a hard time at home? I always try and think free of assumptions, because all I know is what the reporter told me, but as with everything, there’s a lot of background information to how things come to be.
I scrolled through the comments. I need to stop doing that. I know I can’t change everyone. I know I can’t make everyone care…but I can’t read what was written about her be left without a response, because maybe my voice was what needed to be hear to change someone’s opinion.
The comments were along the lines of “She should have to pay for the police use”, “She should be ashamed of herself the selfish spoiled brat”, “She better be grounded for a year”, “She should be spanked”, “She better get a beating for that”…and comments attacking the daughter. I was 17 once. It was when my anxiety really started to develop. I did exceptional in school…but when I turned 18 things were different, I had a lot of growing up to do. Why is this girl to blame? What did she do? And what did the people that said such cruel things actually know?
My point is, don’t judge a situation by a detail or two that you may know. Some of the most abusive or hurtful households, can be the ones we suspect the least. Be free of judgement and conscientious of the fact that we don’t have all the answers without thorough questioning, compassion, and research. Be Kind.