The headline of this article, “Cops: South Carolina Man Dangles 5-Year-Old Over Pit Bull,” is short and to the point, but most all, it is simply disturbing to say the least. With a headline like that, one wonders, “What caused a man to do this to a child?” According to the article, the child kicked dirt at the man’s car and cursed at him. This provoked the man to grab the child and hold him near an aggressive, chained pit bull. The article also states that this man is wanted for failing to appear in court concerning an altogether different charge. (Article link: http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2012/02/01/sc-police-man-held-5-year-old-over-aggressive-dog/)
One of the first books we were required to read for class is entitled, Hurt People Hurt People, by Sandra Wilson. Although it is not the most original title I have ever heard, I could not help but be struck by how much truth was in that one-line title. After reading this article of an adult man being so angry at a child so as to hold him near an aggressive animal, I could not help but think, “Wow… who hurt this man so deeply that he would choose to do that to a child?” More specifically, what happened to this child, who is only five years old, that he would curse and kick dirt at the man’s car? Wilson (2001) states in her book, “Apparently victims gain a sense of inner strength and personal mastery by dominating someone even more powerless than themselves” (p.33). Wilson’s statement holds great truth, and I wonder if this man who dangled this five year old over an aggressive pit bull not only acted out of anger, but also felt empowered by dominating that child through such an act.
Several thoughts race through my mind upon reading about such an incident as this one. I cannot help but remember what Jesus says in Luke 17:2, “It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” So I wonder, who in that child’s life would be hurled into the sea with a millstone tied to their neck because of what he or she has done to this child? My own personal experience tells me that a child who curses and kicks dirt at an adult’s car as this child did, some adult in that child’s life, parent or authority figure, failed that child in some way. Also, it makes me wonder, what kind of parents or caregivers did that man have growing up? I am almost positive that both of these individuals have been seriously wounded in some way by people they trusted to take care of them. I also could not help but not be so surprised by such an article as news like this is sadly typical in our society. I tend to believe that situations like these would be far less common if parents truly cared for their children as God intended.
Wilson, S.D. (2001). Hurt people hurt people: Hope and healing for yourself and your relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.