How selfish have we become?

OK, this one is a bit of a rant. I did warn you in the beginning that this blog may also contain anything that comes to mind. But I will try to not get on my soapbox too often, promise.

Anyone who lives in Southern Ontario was witness to a particularly tragic event this week. A man had abducted his own child and as we later found out, he had killed her on the 11th birthday. I find this heinous act bone chilling, maddening and depressing, but that is not what this post is about.

In their investigation, the police utilized our new system to send out an Amber Alert. This alert is sent through TV, radio and through our cell phones in an SMS message. It’s designed to get our attention in the case of emergency. The message was issued at 11:30 pm.

Normally I wouldn’t be up at that hour as I get up at 5 am to get ready for work. However, Thursday is the night I take a creative writing class and I don’t get home until at least 10:30. Then it’s usually a glass of wine, a chat with my husband and a bit of play time with the cats to get me to unwind before bed.

We both had our cell phones near as the alert came through. I remember saying “Oh no, I hope they find her OK.” as I read the message out loud (Brent didn’t have his glasses on). The alert came from the GTA and I had driven from Hamilton home to St. Catharines so I was pretty sure I couldn’t have been of any help. I finished my glass of wine and went to bed.

It was on my way in to work that I heard on the news about all the people that had called in to the police to complain. They were upset that their TV shows had been interrupted or that they had been woken up by their cell phones going off. Come on, really?! I must have looked like a lunatic as I ranted and raved to myself as I hit the steering wheel out of frustration. I really was that upset.

Think about it for a moment. There is a scared little girl somewhere out there who likely needed our help and people have the gall to be mad because the police asked? By the way, that message was the reason they caught the man so quickly. A motorist recognized the car’s description on a highway in Orilla and called it into police. If not for that message he might not have been caught.

Unfortunately it already had a tragic end as his daughter had already been killed. But let’s think about this…What if she hadn’t already died? What if he was taking her somewhere else to do the deed? In which case that oh so annoying alert may have very well saved her life.

How selfish have we become as a society to not only be upset about a 10 second interruption in our daily lives, but to call and complain to the police, wasting their valuable time?

I truly wish that no one ever has to experience the terror and pain that family had to endure, but for those who did complain, karma can be really nasty.

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