What defines a human?
Lately I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries on extraordinary people and also life behind bars including children. It made me think a lot because there are just so many questions that I so seek for its answer.
For example, those documentaries on extraordinary people showcase people that are different from us or what we like to call the ‘normal’ ones. Like this one girl named Terri Calvesbert who was caught in a fatal accident when she was 2 years old in which the room she was sleeping was burned including her. She suffered 85% burns throughout her body and it was considered a miracle by the doctors that she managed to survive. The biggest question that popped into my head while I was watching this was how was she able to face those around her; the public basically. How will she continue her life living and looking the way she is now? Because her injuries were so fatal and horrible that her physical appearance including her face was no longer like the ‘normal’ ones. She was bound to be teased and people were bound to be disgusted by her. However, the opposite happened. She was accepted majorly by public because her bravery touched their hearts and importantly, her personality is so wonderful that people look past by her appearance and see her for what she truly is, a beautiful girl.
Then maybe we human really are nice and compassionate.
But then again this thought disrupted me when I watch the next documentary. Documentaries on life behind bars for children as young as the age of 9 years old. For example in the country of Mongolia a boy was imprisoned for 8 years for stealing a cellphone.
A nine years old.
8 years in prison.
On top of that the condition of the prison is so horrible that one room consist of 9 people stuffed together inside a tiny space. They are not able to go outside, they feed only bread and plain water and worst of all, they are never to be released until their parents come and fetch them in which what shocked me the most that most of their parents doesn’t.
This again made me wonder what really makes us human being. To do something so cruel to those children that are just so young and so vulnerable. I’m not saying that stealing is right. But what those children needs is proper education and a warm place to be called home. A proper punishment for what they had done. Not such a cruel treatment that will eventually disrupt their mental health. They don’t deserve to be treated like adult criminals for something as petty like that. A different argument can be acceptable however, if they did horrible crimes such as murders and molestation.
Everything is so wrong in that system, so wrong.
As someone who is learning child development I could tell and understand how wrong these all are. How this will eventually affect those children in their future lives. What they need is not prison but a proper punishment and education in the right way.
And the story that breaks my heart the most is this one little boy who was imprisoned for stealing food at a local shop. When he was interviewed he told the media that he was only trying to help his family. His grandmother was sick that she could not work and provide food for them and her little sister was also very sick. He said that if he didn’t steal those foods he and his family would have died out of starvation.
So should we blame the boy who steals or the government that allowed for such families to exist?
Again the question remains the same.
What defines a human?
Are we really full of love and acceptance like those people in the story of Terri or are we cruel like those stories of children behind bars?
What makes one story different than the other?
Why do we react that way towards Terri and another way towards those children behind bars?
And these questions remain.