As I’m sure you’ve heard more times than you can count, Casey Anthony was released from jail over the weekend. She was acquitted of a first degree murder charge and walked out of jail after serving a little more than three years behind bars for lying to the police about the death of her daughter, Caylee.
There’s been so much talk about this case, the poor little girl, her mother, and all of the events that surrounded her death, and people everywhere have some very strong opinions about it. In a lot of ways, the details of this case have been on a constant loop for three years.
For me, this case represents more than just a not-guilty verdict. The case has shown the impact that the media has in turning a story into a sensation. The courtroom coverage, the constant media attention, the headlines, they all sensationalized the story to such an extent that we can’t escape the headlines.
The awful and sad reality is that an innocent little girl died. And no matter what you think about the case itself, or Casey’s guilt or innocence, what happened to that little girl is heartbreaking and tragic. The thought of losing one of my own kids is not something that I can even imagine. I literally cannot think about what life would be like without my two little ones or the enormous hole that would create in my heart.
And I’m not trying to be depressing, or insensitive to the gravity of this case, but the reality in the world we live in is that more than 26,500 children around the world die every single day from preventable causes related to poverty. 26,500 parents lose their child every day, and have to find a way to go on living life without them.
And that is something you don’t hear about every night on the evening news, it’s not trending on google, or on the front page of every newspaper. Nobody even bats an eye. You and I stop and listen when we see a picture of that beautiful little girl, Caylee, but without that connection, or a name to put with a face of a boy who died yesterday because he drank bad water, without knowing his story, we skip over the tragedy.
This is something that my family has become more aware of, and concerned about, over the past year or so. Our eyes, and hearts, are being opened to the plight of those thousands of children who can’t speak on their own behalf, the ones we don’t hear about on the news.
While the story of a little girl’s murder, and the suspicion surrounding her mother’s role in that murder, is a sad and heart breaking story, I wonder why our hearts don’t break in the same way for the thousands of children who die wrongful deaths every day. Wrongful deaths, because they could have been prevented by simple things like clean water, adequate food, and access to medical care.
Besides the lack of sensationalized media coverage, and the fact that we don’t know their faces or stories, the other reason we don’t think about this issue much is because it’s just too overwhelming. How in the world do you begin to tackle a problem as huge as 26,500 kids dying every day? How do you process something like that?
Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision, once said, “Don’t fail to do something just because you can’t do everything.” We recognize that this is a huge global issue and not something that we can just change overnight. But, we do believe we can make an impact, and that lots of us making an impact together can make a difference in the lives of those children, and may even change the world.
So, rather than just not thinking about it, which would be so much easier, our family has decided to figure out a way that we can do something, even if it’s just something small. In the past, we’ve given gift certificates to the organization Living Water, which helps to provide access to clean water to millions of people, in place of gifts to our family (who really already have everything they need anyway) at Christmas time.
We have also chosen to sponsor two children, who are living in third world countries, to help provide them with those basic necessities of life, as well as an education, which is one of the best preventions there is against the complicated mess of extreme poverty.
It is hard to think about these children and their families who have to go on living without them. So, hug and love on your kids today. As hard as it sometimes is to raise a toddler, be grateful for the gift that they are, and the days that you have to spend with them. Remember the smiles, and laughter, and the cute things they say. Then tell them you love them more than they could ever know and spend the rest of the day trying to prove it. It is the best thing you could do this day, and the most powerful thing your child could receive.
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