Rushing to Judgment

A blogger friend of mine posted a story about a dog in another country who found a baby in a plastic bag at a garbage dump and brought it to its human family, who saw and decided to adopt the infant. I was moved by the story.

A number of folks who made comments to the effect of how terrible humans are, how terrible the that couple was for abandoning their baby, how of course it was a little girl who was left because little girls still aren’t valued as highly as boys, etc.

Those comments saddened me more than did the sad part of the post.

I felt compelled to speak up. For those who may be interested in what I wrote, here it is:

“As the adopted father of a 2-month old baby girl from another country who has grown into a responsible adult, I ask that those who made sweeping statements about how awful humanity is, etc, to reconsider their comments. Some humans do terrible things. Some dogs do too. Most humans aren’t terrible and most dogs aren’t either. I cannot even judge the couple. I don’t know what led them to do such a thing. Perhaps seeing their other babies die of starvation? Perhaps either the father or the mother isn’t even aware of what happened to the child because the other acted on their own? Or perhaps they firmly believed after running out of all other options that what they did was that the best hope for the child. I believe that a critical piece of humankind and individuals to grow and progress is to seek first to understand. It is easy to rush to judgment. I’ve done it many times myself. But when I have, I have closed my mind to opportunities for growth and closed my heart to opportunities for compassion.”


About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
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25 Responses to Rushing to Judgment

  1. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Well put, Russ. I so agree. Rushing to judgement does not serve in the long run. I choose to believe that there is much, much good in the world and from that place, the story that you mention is, to me, quite heartening.

  2. strokedtolife says:

    Thank you for your response Russ. As a fellow adoptive parent I find it imperative to not judge birth parents- judging someone never makes a situation better.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, Kendra. I’ve come to the conclusion that when I judge others it reflects more poorly on me than on the person I judge.

  3. Yes well put indeed, we really have no idea what drove the childs parents to do what they did people are quick to judge with little or no facts……….

  4. There are many times when this is done… for example judging all ‘homeless’ people with being lazy, or an alcoholic …and a drain on society … without considering how these people came to be in the situation they are… There are many sad reasons that they are on the streets and it can happen so easily… out of a job, lost their house or ability to pay .. shunned by family and the list goes on…. We can’t imagine abandoning our child but we also if we think about it can’t imagine living under the circumstances that poor or oppressed people live. It is totally foreign and unbelievable! … Diane

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your comments and insights, Diane. May everyone throughout the world develop more empathy for each other. I heard it said something to the effect that when one judges another there is no room for love. One of the few things that I know for certain is that we all need love.

  5. bulldog says:

    Sorry Russ don’t agree… the parents could have taken the child to a home for adoption..By placing the child in a plastic bag and taking the child to the dump.. they were abandoning the child to a nasty fate and possible death…

    • russtowne says:

      Hi, bulldog. I have great respect for you bulldog, and I thank you for your comment. I firmly believe in adoption as an option. But not all places have homes for adoption. I wish it were otherwise. For clarity, I’m not saying that I like what happened to that poor baby. Not at all. But I do not have all the facts, have no idea what their options were, or whatever options if any they had exhausted before they did what they did, and I have not been in their shoes, so I don’t consider it my place to judge. It could have been a 12-year girl who was raped for all I know. I do not know what level of anguish, suffering, and torment drove them to take the action, or what they feel today after taking it.


      • bulldog says:

        Russ this happens all to often here in our country… babies being abandoned in all sorts of horrible places… what ever happened of leaving them on a door step and ringing the bell… I’m sorry I still maintain if rape is the cause, or molestation, poverty whatever… there are always Churches and social workers that can help from day one… adoption etc… but just leaving a baby out there somewhere to me is against all my religious beliefs… we had to go to court to get custody of two of our grand children, as they were to be taken from our daughter who found herself unable to raise them… she spoke to us.. we weren’t well off, but we took them in and did our best to raise them in a good Christian home… the State gave us a small grant each month that helped towards costs…
        But to just abandon a child is not on.. when asking help costs nothing… I do not know the circumstances, actually don’t want to, but an abandon child that could lie out in the open and die… sorry I can not condone it … Having been as poor as can be, not knowing where our next meal was going to come from, with two children, one a baby, we still made a plan till the Good Lord Blessed us once more… these things are sent to test us, to test our resolve, we as humans have to take them on or fail the test… and to fail in my eyes is unacceptable… Not fighting about this, just can’t stand to hear such things…

        • russtowne says:

          Thank you for sharing your viewpoints, bulldog. I agree with nearly all you said. In my area–and perhaps throughout my country–there are signs placed on certain public buildings that indicate that they are a safe place to leave a baby. I believe it involves a “no questions asked” policy so that mothers will know that if they leave their baby there it will be cared for and they won’t get into trouble for doing so. I think it is a great idea. Otherwise mothers run the risk of child abandonment and neglect charges and possibly jail. I wonder how many babies have died as the result of mothers being afraid of the consequences of taking a baby to the authorities. As an aside, I too am an adopted child. A 22-year old man took on me and my 3 siblings from another father. He raised us as his own and had to work 16-hour days to do it, but we are now all adults with our own children, and even some with grandchildren. I understand sacrifice. And heroism. By my definition, he and you and your wife are heroes.

  6. willowdot21 says:

    Life is hard enough if only we could just help each other ! xx

  7. I reblogged this at my site and there were a couple of comments about humans in comparison to dogs. My comment was about whoever dumped a baby in a garbage and to that I say, shame on you. No excuses. Sorry my friend, but to dispose of a human being as garbage, an innocent vulnerable baby is a hurtful act that is not excusable. And, this was done in the U.S. not India or Africa, where the circumstance could have been very different. There are other options and certainly plenty of time to think of them during the pregnancy. That said, I have compassion for the person who suffered and was driven to this act and can only imagine the torment they lived with, but still their action is criminal.

    As far as humans in general, I’m with you. It is the kindness of the family that adopted this child, the goodness in the hearts of many around the world, that makes life better for all of us. I admire your positivity, what you post, what you share, very much. But to anything that condones the action of dumping a baby or hurting another in any way that’s criminal, there’s a line I can’t manage to cross.

    Thank you for this thoughtful post,

    • P.S. I just received an e-mail that I was mistaken on the place, that it wasn’t in the U.S., rather Thailand. My apologies for the confusion. There have been a few instances of babies dumped in garbage cans in the U.S. and I confused the two posts.

      I also wanted to add that I agree with you wholeheartedly on one thing, try not to make a rush to judgement without knowing the facts. All that said, I still do not condone the action.

      • russtowne says:

        I respect you and your opinion, and that once you learned of a new fact, you acknowledged and considered it. Please understand that I don’t condone what happened to that little baby. That was a terrible thing.

        I can’t bring myself to damn or hate anyone, especially when I don’t have all of the facts (or in this case almost none of them). I can hate their actions, but damning or hating the person before attempting to understand them and what drove them to it is a line that I will not cross. Judging without attempting to gather the facts and without attempting to understand the motive, opportunity, intent, etc, is not only against my personal beliefs, it is against the judicial systems of many countries including the one in which I live. Something as basic as the country something occurred in can change the situation and perspective a lot. I thank you for your thoughtful comments, and I respect the intensity of your feelings, and your strong desire that no baby should be treated in such a horrible way. On the latter we are in complete agreement.

  8. Russ: I’m so impressed by your thoughts, and your response to comments as well. I know we have to recognize harm, to understand it enough to deal with it in whatever way we can, or feel called to. But judgment is different, to me. It contains control. The presumption that we know more than we do, based on assumptions about the facts – which, in truth, as humans we will never know. The “rising up” inside, the futile indignation. The dissonance. The condemnation. Which is applying more intention to blame than to rejoicing in the kindness done (by dog and parent). Which seems to actually skew the world toward the negative on an elemental level, instead of the other way. The “you grow what you feed” thing. Too many words, too poorly explained. In a nutshell: your words are kind and real, and I hear you, and agree. Thanks! Diane

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, Diane. You said what I was trying to say but perhaps much better than I. I fear that I will create more harm and dissonance in this world if I engage in vigilante thinking, rather than seeking to learn and to grow. My comments are meant to be an indictment of no one. I’m attempting to focus on becoming a better person and finding the goodness in all. I doubt that I could conjure up a more hellish existence than many people are experiencing at this moment. Desperate people do desperate things. May none of us ever find ourselves in such dire predicaments, but if we do, may we do what we can with what we have, and may the world only judge our situations and actions in their entirety after looking at all the facts.
      Kind regards,

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