How many times do I have to see someone trying to give away or sell a pet they no longer want? It seems everyday someone in the paper or on the internet has evicted their once beloved pet from their lives, and for what? Some of the most idiotic reasons surface, but it’s usually the fact they have a small child, they’re moving, the landlord is making them get rid of it, or they don’t have the time to invest in a pet. I’m well aware life happens—things can and do pop up, circumstances can be beyond one’s control. Usually, though, people know they’re taking a risk when taking on a pet. Do I need to think about the responsibility I’m taking on with a pet? Of course not. I’ll just rehome it later.
Being a bad pet parent is not the only thing that hits the top of my list of irresponsible acts by people this week.
As August rolled in and kids went back to school, my newsfeed was clogged with people looking for help with school clothes and supplies for their children. Again, I realize life happens, but some of these people act as if they had no clue what was going to happen as fall approaches. They acted as if parenting slipped their minds whilst they were posting all their summer-fun shenanigans on social media. Do I need to put back a little for school clothes? Nah. I’ll beg for those.
We often call people like the ones I’ve mentioned “stupid,” but I need to argue about that term a second.
Truthfully, none of these people I know are ignorant. We like to label them as that, and they like it, too, somewhere deep down inside because if they are “stupid” or “ignorant,” that serves as justification for their actions. They can just “dumb” it away.
“Look, I know I was stupid, but I’ll do better next time,” you might hear when calling them out for their irresponsibility.
I expect better than a lame excuse, though. I expect the truth.
Honestly, people who act in this manner are not stupid. They are not ignorant of the way life works. Instead, they are selfish.
To say someone is stupid or ignorant there must be some understanding that they were not privy to the information that might have helped them make better decisions.
For instance, someone might buy a car with underlying mechanical issues no one found before the purchase. A mechanic might not even know. These people are ignorant to the fact this issue will impact their future with the car, and therefore, they purchase the faulty vehicle. It is not their fault. They simply had no knowledge.
People who knowingly and willingly take on a pet or child are not ignorant to things like a landlord not allowing pets, or children needing school supplies. Ignorance never enters the arena. They make decisions based on their own selfish wants, without regard for the responsibilities they’ve embarked upon.
I cannot and will not explain this away for them by calling them “stupid” or “ignorant” because I believe in personal accountability—something these folks clearly do not want.
Children and pets are not something to be cast aside when times get tough. Being a pet parent or parent of a child requires good, strong decision making skills. When someone adopts a pet with the knowledge that they are not allowed to have said pet, or has a child they knowingly cannot afford, they reach a pinnacle or self-indulgence I cannot understand.
We do not live in the dark ages when educational material was hard to find. Nope. We live in the age of the internet. Most everyone, at least in the US, has access to the information they need to make it through life. This includes details about pet ownership and parenting.
People who do not educate themselves are at fault for their blaring mistakes, and what’s infinitely worse are those who have been educated, but simply choose not to take heed.
Knowing the pet you loved enough to bring into your home or the child you willing created has needs, but choosing to ignore those needs, or breaking rules that will make it impossible to properly care for them, makes you a supreme narcissist—nothing more and nothing less.
So, no. I won’t call those folks ignorant. I will give them the ugly crown they deserve to wear as those who depend on them suffer. Then I’ll hope those they’ve completely let down survive the fall to be happy and healthy despite the self-centered jerks who hurt them.