personal responsibility, who needs it?

It seems to be a common trend that personal responsibility is no longer a factor in our society. With each article I read I see more and more people passing the buck, even if it is just to God. I could harp on countless events across the country, across the world even… but for this moment, I will keep it local.

On November 4, 2012 right here in Pittsburgh we experienced a tragic event. A 2 year old boy, Maddox Derkosh, fell into the African painted dogs exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. He was attacked by the dogs and despite efforts to save him inevitably bled to death. This story had national coverage and couldn’t help but tear at the hearts of everyone who read it. However, after the initial shock settled, the blame game began- and now that is what we hear about. I know that just touching on this subject is risky, and that some people will just get mad and turn on me- but I don’t care, I think it needs to be said… and mind you, I did not address it this way until they escalated it to a gross civil suit that begs for judgment by stating outright.,. It wasn’t my fault.

I followed this story closely, how could you not, it was there every day for months and broke your heart a little more each time you thought about it… the comments and logic however did not break my heart, they angered my mind and made it churn. There were two main components I saw, blame the zoo or blame god… but no one was comfortable with the reality… so let’s work that out here.

The family was quick to gang up on the Zoo, which to me is ridiculous. To state that just because it is possible for you to do something completely irrational makes someone else at fault is absolutely absurd. Saying that the Zoo made it possible for Elizabeth Derkosh to endanger her sons life takes away any responsibility she may have is SICK. Every day we encounter situations that could be dangerous, we accept that risk and face the day. Imagine this scenario-

The regattas is one of our cities favorite events, but imagine if it turned tragic. What if, instead of Mrs Derkosh taking her son to the zoo, it was a beautiful summer day and she took a trip to the city…while walking across the Clemente bridge little Maddox wanted a better view of the awesome boats… if she put him up on the side of the bridge and he fell from her grasp into the Allegheny river and died… who takes the blame then? There are no signs on the bridge warning parents of the dangers of placing their children on the railing, so I suppose instead of the zoo she would just take our city for all it’s worth.

They also said the Zoo could have done more once Maddox fell in- well they shot darts at the dogs and got all but one away, and that one they killed…so I think in a tragic moment they actually handled it pretty well.

Some people turned to God, saying he took Maddox simply because he needed another angel… ok, that one not only is nonsensical but also makes “God” seem incredibly sick…apparently he felt this child needed to be ripped apart to become an angel. How can that possibly be comforting? Even if Mrs. Derkosh was not responsible, how would that help her heal? Why would she have to watch her son die in such a horrific way just to fulfill God’s angel quota? I certainly wouldn’t find peace in that- and I don’t see how any Christian, no matter how devote could either. And we can’t ignore the fact that none of that fits in the bible anyway… so yeah, we will brush that one off too.

The fact of the matter is that if Elizabeth Derkosh had not placed her son in danger he would still be alive today. I don’t know why people cannot say that? She and the Zoo were both found to not be criminally liable for this, but now she is filing a civil suit… how disgusting and how despicable to make a paycheck out of a tragedy you caused. I am sure they will settle it and she will get her blood money… she may even find a way to actually believe she is not at fault for this… but she is. The one absolute variable that caused this tragic event was the actions of the mother… but who needs personal responsibility anyway.

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