Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This was in response to the story about the woman who had recently given birth and stole another new mother's purse from the maternity ward at a local hospital:

The sadness that exists in this world is sometimes hard to fathom. Why people do what they do to themselves and to others will often be an enigma. Poets, philosophers, writers and the like have written about it for centuries. Unless one can walk in another's shoes one cannot know for sure the why of things. It is up to us, I believe, to have the empathy to try to understand. In Truman Capote's book 'In Cold Blood' I believe he entitled it as such to give us a glimpse into the motivation of the perpetrators of a heinous crime. I think Capote was saying nothing is ever done in cold blood but, in truth, much ill that is committed has reasons, often volcanic, which explain the etiology of pathological behavior. On the face of it we only see the horrific nature of some crimes and we never get to see beyond it. The victim, too, has rights and deserves justice. Crime affects all of us as we use our precious tax dollars to pay for police, judges, juries, lawyers and, ultimately, if necessary, incarceration. We all pay for what others do as we are all in the boat together. If the boat is rocked we are rocked with it.

The nature of addiction is not known. Some say it is in DNA. If so one can only hope she gets the help she needs to manage and overcome it, if possible. It would behoove us, I think, as a society not to punish with verbal vitriol but to try, in some way, to offer hope that she gets the assistance she needs so she and her child not suffer any longer. We as the community, who must pay the price and bear the burden, should hope she receives the help she so desperately needs since even once removed if it happens to the least of these it happens to us as well.