In Tuesday’s post, I criticized a mother for giving in to her child’s spoiled tirade and whining about the legal ramifications. But there’s another irritant in this story: the anonymous bystander who video recorded the mother leaving her child in the car with a cell phone and then sent it to police.
Yeah, Kim Brook’s essay irritated me. The worst wasn’t her leaving the kid in the car or her failure to lay down the law. It was her defensive drivel, which lacked any kind of lesson readers could benefit from.
But I don’t blame her one bit for wishing that bystander had approached her instead of quietly recording her failure and dropping a dime. Maybe that person thought they were being a responsible citizen. But the act was cowardly.
To stand in the shadows recording someone is pathetic at best. It would be understandable if the bystander were recording a mob hit or an act of political corruption. Getting caught could lead to bodily harm in those circumstances. But in this case the bystander was recording an unarmed woman. If leaving the kid in the car was such a reprehensible act in this person’s opinion, the better, more courageous thing to do would have been to get in Brook’s face and tell her she was an idiot for endangering her child that way.
Chances are Brooks would have been mortified by her own behavior and I doubt she’d ever leave her son in the car again after that.
It would have been the best possible outcome.
Whoever the bystander is, I hope they feel like shit for:
- Being too much of a chicken shit to confront Brooks directly.
- Setting a legal process in motion that cost a lot of people time, money and emotional well-being. Brooks was stupid, but the punishment was way over the top. She caved and had a moment of bad judgement, but she’s not a child abuser by all outward appearances.
- Bringing Brooks to a state of mind where she felt the need to defend herself in a column that was torture for the reader.
This whole affair illustrates how outrageously unreasonable our society has become.