Yesterday, I reacted passionately, without appropriate background and took an emotional position in social media on the unfortunate death of Harambe, the Silverback that was dispatched by the Cincinnati Zoo to safeguard the life of the four year old child who fell into the animal’s enclosure. I am sickened by what occurred, but I did not have the first-hand knowledge required for me to have taken such a stand.
In the sadder, calmer light that time and additional information have provided, I realize now that I could not possibly feel the immense and awful dual sense of relief and shame now felt by the parents of that small child. Yes, my instinct is to rage against those who seemingly allowed the circumstances that lead to the unfortunate culling of such a magnificent and beloved beast as Harambe was to all of us. But I cannot for a moment loose site of how instantly and easily it could have gone the other way.
I once lost track of my son in a Best Buy store and it was only through the remarkable and prompt actions of a store staff that was well versed and rehearsed in closing the store immediately and then doing a dedicated aisle by aisle search that we discovered how he had, all in an instant, climbed up into a special listening chair where he could not be seen. All I know is it happened fast – in a split second – and I was helpless, lost and beyond panicked for the next 5 minutes while the manager and his staff ran their drill and found my son. Was I negligent? I don’t know. All I know is that I was beyond thankful to have my son returned to me… And now, looking back on it, I am even more thankful that nothing as terrible as what has transpired here… with Harambe and the Cincinnati Zoo… had to occur for me to have my son back in my arms.
So now, after having reacting emotionally and casting blame, I retract my earlier statements… I withdrawal my premature judgement… I step back and quietly pray, thanking God for both the safe return of the four year old boy to his parents and for a restful and peaceful… whatever… Yes, whatever He has next for a beast as beautiful and noble as Harambe in his life beyond this life.