12/13/98 - I played Pitch, a very interesting card game with numerous levels of strategy, several times today with Eli (my youngest son, 13 yrs old at this time). He has a sharp mind. I sat there looking at him, his long, hairy legs, his ever-lengthening feet, his expanding chin, and I saw:
Eli in motion -- even as he just sat there: growing, growing, growing.
It was such a wonderful feeling and then I thought to myself: "How awful it would be to have the death of a child on one's hands."
So many men in this world (sure, and some women , too) have directly caused the death of a child; hell, some men have caused the deaths of thousands of children. Try to imagine it yourself (no, Henry Kissinger, you have to skip this step): because of something you did, or a decision you made from a position of authority, a little boy or girl stopped breathing.
Maybe you ordered a bomb to be dropped on a village. You didn't want to, but the General made it clear that this entire sector had to be clear of enemy forces within two weeks, and you just didn't have the time or the men to check every population center individually.
Maybe you dropped the bomb on that village. You didn't want to, but the alternative was court-martial, and maybe there were Viet Cong down there, just like the Lieutenant said.
Maybe you ran over a little girl crossing the street because you were drunk - or just picking your nose (after all, anything can happen).
Maybe you're the CEO of an extremely profitable corporation that laid off 3,000 workers just before Christmas to increase the value of the stock. Joe, a seriously depressed, 27-year employee, shoots his wife and two kids, and then himself.
Kids die all the time; some times it's the result of an "honest" accident. You still have to figure out how to live with the results of your action, but at least it wasn't your intention. So many children are killed each year, however, by people who went ahead with their action or decision, even though they knew that children would, as a result, die.
So here is my idea: create a website, called www.deathofachild.com, which would be used to propose individuals who are responsible for the death of a child. We would then have an open debate on the Internet about whether or not that individual is responsible or if the charge was unwarranted (the death was, for example, "justifiable" - whatever that might mean - or truly an accident).
Visitors would submit a name and history; those names would be researched by an independent group. If they recommended that there is sufficient evidence, the name and situation would be posted on the website, and let the debate commence. What do you think?