The internet was abuzz recently about the death of Harambe. Who is Harambe? He’s a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. He was shot to death. His crime? He went to pick up a small boy who somehow managed to get into his enclosure. The zoo did the right thing. The boy’s life was in danger. And if the zoo hadn’t shot the gorilla, the boy may have died. Imagine the shit storm then.
How the hell did the boy get into Harambe’s enclosure? For the last six years, the zoo received, on average, more than a million visitors a year. No major incidents. Clearly the zoo has taken some precautions to prevent major incidents. Then this. What went wrong?
From what I’ve read, there were barriers around the enclosures. The barriers would have at least delayed, if not prevented, children from crossing them accidentally. So how long was the boy unsupervised? What was the mother doing at that time? The mother posted a status update on Facebook (which has since been deleted… but the Internet remembers…) that it was all just an accident. That she was really a good mother. Right. Ok. So that absolves her of all responsibility? Hmm.
Ok. Fine. Kids are kids. They do dumb things. But it’s the responsibility of their parents to ensure that the dumb things their kids do don’t end up causing problems for other people, damaging other people’s properties, or killing something else. So when I read a couple of stories about how kids doing dumb things even with parents around that led to the destruction of other people’s properties, I was incensed.
The first was about Nick Wilde. That’s the fox character from Zootopia. Someone in China took three days to painstakingly build a life-sized statue of Nick Wilde out of Lego bricks. It apparently cost him about USD15,000 to do it. The statue was displayed in a mall in Ningbo, China. One hour after it went on displayed, a kid destroyed it.
It turned out that the boy crawled under the barrier to take a photo with the statue and knocked it over. The parents probably were there to take the photo. Which meant that the parents sanctioned the kid’s actions. What was going through the parents’ minds? My kid wants a photo! Never mind the barriers! The rules don’t apply to us! Whatever my kid wants, he gets! Even if that causes problems for others! Erm… the barriers were there for a reason right?
Then there’s another story that really got me incensed. Two kids destroyed a piece of artwork at the Shanghai Museum of Glass while their parents stood there taking pictures/videos.
What were the kids doing? They think they’re Jackie Chan? Donnie Yen? And again. The barriers were there for a good reason. What were the parents thinking? And if the falling pieces of glass had injured the boys, what do you think would have happened? I bet the parents would have kicked up a ruckus and demanded compensation from the museum!
You may say that the two stories (not the one about Harambe) happened in China. You may think that that’s what we can expect from “ah tiongs”. Surely Singaporean parents and kids aren’t like this. And you would be dead wrong.
I present to you exhibit si ginna chao ah lian.
Her teacher confiscated her handphone. I presume it happened because si ginna chao ah lian was using her handphone in class when she wasn’t supposed to. But instead of feeling a single shred of contrition, she took to social media to rant. She called her teacher names, claiming that the teacher’s existence is a “burdence (sic)”. She also claimed that her parents would complain to MOE and the teacher would get into trouble because of it. She ended off saying that she doesn’t respect poor f**ks.
I think this si ginna chao ah lian must be from a relatively well to do family. How did she turn out to have this over-inflated sense of self-entitlement? What did her parents NOT do? Sure. They gave her lots of things (three handphones! One supposedly super special one from Australia!). But what the parents clearly haven’t given the girl so far is a good moral compass.
The parents of the si ginna chao ah lian and the parents of the kids who damaged the museum exhibit and the parents of the kid who destroyed lego Nick Wilde all have the same problem. They over-indulge their kids. They don’t rein their kids in when their kids obviously need reining in. I hope that most parents aren’t like them. Otherwise, I fear that the rise of the durian generation would be inevitable.
[Featured image: from Facebook and Wake up, Singapore]