We've all seen it on Facebook and the news. A gorilla was shot and killed for protecting and not protecting a 4 year old boy. This boy the gorilla was interacting with climbed over the railing for the exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo and fell into the moat of the exhibit for a 17 year old Silver Back Gorilla.
Now Silver Back Gorillas are endangered. They are endangered because of human activity, whether it be hunting for sport, farming or protection, they are endangered. It's safe to say though that this gorilla lived a good life the 17 years he was in captivity. Probably far better than if he would have been in the wild. But he too, like all of his species faced judgment from those who are the cause for the decline in population.
I will explain that I am not an animal rights activist, nor will I ever be. But there is just a part of this story that I don't understand. It isn't why they shot the Gorilla and it isn't why the boy was not kept a better eye on by his parent(s). It isn't any of this.
What I don't get is why we are so enraged by an isolated event that it overshadows things that are happening on a daily basis that don't even cross your mind. Things that occasionally cross your vision on your Facebook feed, and you "share to show your support." But your support doesn't go any further than showing how much of a superficial, attention seeking selfish person that you are. You who share things to get people to see that "hey I'm a Christian" or "I signed a petition to save the environment" or that you shared this post showing you support helping veterans. That you're doing pushups to save their lives.
No you're showing people that you can do what you can to detract from real issues plaguing our country.
I am a not very well off financially kind of person. But I give. I give what I can. And I don't do this to get recognition. I do it because I have been hurt. I've been burnt by companies. I have been burnt by myself. I have let myself fall victim to a society that looks to blame others for their problems and seeks to find other "noble causes" to get behind to hide the fact that they haven't done a thing to help make this world a better place.
They haven't started a charity to engage veterans. They haven't volunteered at a food shelter or local food pantry for homeless. They haven't.
See this is what pissed me off the most about this stupid Gorilla story. That we can gripe and complain about a gorilla being shot but we can't take a second to help stop veterans from shooting themselves. That we can't take a second to make sure that man living under the bridge doesn't freeze tonight. That the kids who has been bullied into a psychological issue, doesn't kill himself or try to kill others. We don't do it.
I spent time growing up in crappy financial situations. I grew up in a military family and I myself served in the military. What I did in my service didn't make me feel like I was even serving this country the way other veterans do. They way other soldiers do day in and day out. I was part of a unit that did not deploy while I was part of it. I did not even get to deploy in my state to help with natural disaster relief.
While growing up I spent time once a month during the fall thru the spring, at a food pantry giving food to those less fortunate. We even gave food to those who had money but didn't spend it right. But we gave it freely. All they had to do was come get it and we would load it into their vehicles. Some nicer than my parents. I remember many weekends my siblings and I gave up as kids to help people who needed it. Those who needed our strength more than anything. To bring in groceries or split firewood.
We did it because it was right. To this day I still try to do the best I can to help those in need. Even if I don't have all the money in the world to do so. Even if doing so means I can't put gas in my car or buy diapers for my 8 week old son. I do these things because I know some how, my needs will be taken care of. All I have to do is make sure I take care of other people's needs.
I don't care if my personal needs are ever cared for as long as my wife and my son have food.
I look at the gorilla story and am sickened and saddened because we spend so much time ranting about gorillas and don't spend enough time ranting about problems in our country and world every day. People dying. Veterans, the people who fight for our rights to rant, struggling emotionally and financially. We seek that five minutes of fame to show we care about "important issues" when in reality we only show that we only care about our image. Our platform. Our own benefit.
Take this post as you may. Flame in the comments. Get your five minutes of fame. But please remember people are struggling to stay alive and get by that need hope. That need energy to get on their feet. They need you more than they need to hear about a story about an isolated incident.
-The Undercover Dad.
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