Nowadays, we live in a world of noises and distractions, where technology connects us to the world, but isolates us from our local communities. Many of us wouldn't hear the church bells through our insulated walls. The sound from our entertainment systems, would drown out air raid sirens. Fortunately, caring people have created technology that can let us know when we are in danger, or when someone in our community needs our help, using our ubiquitous smart phones.
Last night, in Canada's largest city, an Amber Alert was issued at 11 p.m. Eastern Time. An Amber Alert, for those who don't know, is an abduction alert system used in many countries around the world. In Canada, it is used when a child under 18 has been abducted and believed to be in imminent danger, and when there is enough information, such as description of the child, the abductors, or a their vehicle, to direct a search. The alert is broadcast on television, radio, social media, and to mobile devices within a relevant geographical area.
When an alert is issued, time is crucial. Regrettably, it is often too late.
The Amber Alert did not save the 11-year-old girl last night. But the suspect was quickly located as a direct result of someone receiving the alert.
As shocking and sad as the outcome was, it was more shocking to learn that some people actually called 9-1-1 to complain about the alert itself. To all of those selfish whiners who complained about a collective effort to save a girl's life, please get professional help, either psychiatric or spiritual. If you are a student in my school, or wish to be, you can be assured that your lack of compassion will limit your education. There is a long-standing tradition within the martial arts that we offer, of teaching the advanced lessons only to students who display good character.
I wonder what systemic social issues have created a world where some people think that rolling over to read an amber alert in the middle of the night is considered a curse-worthy inconvenience. Who are these self-centred buttheads who whine about living in a world where people care about children, and in which the wonders of modern technology offer you the simplest opportunity to help?
My sleep is precious. But it is nothing compared to a child's life. Wake me anytime with your Amber alerts, as many times per night as you like. If I can join the search, I will. If not, I will sleep better knowing that I live in a world where people are expected to care about each other.
- Ian Sinclair
[*See also "Hue and Cry - Wikipedia"]