Yesterday, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.
The shock and outrage of the internet was immediate; where was the justice for Caylee Anthony?
I may be alone in saying this, but: I don’t feel that Casey’s being found guilty, or the seeking of the death penalty, would bring any justice to the death of that little girl. All it would do is feed our voyeuristic need to be “right.” And then we’d just move on.
You want justice? You want to somehow justify that child’s life being taken from her?
Then you need to step up and make sure it doesn’t happen to another little girl. You need to help prevent the childhoods of other little girls and boys from being taken from them— and keep in mind that doesn’t only mean wrongful death, it also means being forced to grow up too soon.
- Advocate for better support and treatment of post-partum depression and mental illness in all its forms.
- Volunteer for support hotlines.
- Reach out to new mothers in your community.
- Support programs for new parents at pediatrician offices and hospitals.
- Support sex ed and birth control availability so people don’t become parents that aren’t willing, or ready.
- Donate time, supplies, and/or money to shelters for domestic abuse victims.
- Become a Big Brother or Sister.
- Become involved in community programs, sports, literacy groups, art classes, youth groups, whatever, that use your particular talents to lift up today’s kids.
- Learn what to look for to discern possible child abuse. Learn how to hear what a child might be telling you.
- Share this info with anyone who will listen. Just because it’s an uncomfortable conversation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. That’s called an excuse, and a lame one at that.
- And then, if you see or hear anything that whispers, “Something is wrong here,” SPEAK THE F*CK UP. I speak from experience when I say: some kids will only trust an adult and share their hardest secrets ONCE. Ignore them, be afraid to do anything, and they may never have the courage to try again.
This list is off the top of my head and pertains to your hyper-local community. There is SO MUCH MORE to be done on a global scale.
Get involved, get involved, get involved. I can’t say it enough. We’ve become this nation of insular beings, traveling in our air-conditioned cars with the windows rolled up, holding our own children close and turning a blind eye to other people’s children, all the while clucking and shaking our head over stories like Caylee Anthony’s.
Skip turning on your porch light for Caylee and instead open your eyes and your heart and do something real.
I know it’s hard, because as soon as you do one thing you become overwhelmed by how much there is to do. The news of the verdict only served to make me feel very small, in the face of all the hurt there is in the world.
But it’s just the same as the green philosophy. Do what you can. Start small if you must. Tiny steps accumulate to big changes.
Just do something.
Then maybe we can talk justice for Caylee Anthony.