There is an unappreciated blessing in the value of a normal life. The common American considers his day-to-day stresses and leisures and compares them to that sense of grandeur propagated by a society obsessed with the glamorous and exciting. We seem to have forgotten what is so precious about a stable, free lifestyle; what we call boring, some would call paradise. That is not even to say that just those suffering in other, poorer nations would be envious.
One could fairly assume that Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight would cherish a return to the doldrums.
It’s easy to blame the media for the frenzy surrounding the story: a girl missing for a decade is suddenly and dramatically found, with two other missing girls with her, in a house not far from where they dissapeared. It is a bizarre story and a horrible reminder that humanity does, at times, show a sadistic side. Details have yet to emerge, but the general consensus is that the three girls had been held in the house for the entirety of ten years or more, being the victim of kidnapping and probable rape by three brothers. Stories like this have happened before in America, and it is probable and disgusting to know that there are probably women out there currently tied in basements that may never be found.
The true tragedy is that Amanda and the others will never experience a normal life. Amanda never had the chance to finish high school, and her resume ends at Burger King. She had a child while being held captive who is now six years old – sadly, old enough to know where he came from. She will now be forced to reintegrate herself into a world that knows her as Amanda Berry, the poor child taken by evil in the prime of her life. Every job interview, every attempted relationship, every night out will now be handled with a certain, inevitable bias.
This is the truest measure of just how evil Ariel Castro and his brothers are. Not to compare or lessen another tragedy, but last month’s bombing was an act of violence by a few kids who wanted a moment in the spotlight – it was done and over with in a matter of seconds, and god knows if they felt remorse or regretted their actions. Meanwhile, Castro and his brothers took three girls against their will and essentially ruined their lives without a care; they robbed them of their youth and their chance at a peaceful existence for the sake of their own sick, sexual fantasies. I am never one to call for ill will to come to another human being, no matter how despicable; that being said, utter disregard for what precious little life we all get to enjoy demands a different treatment. Here’s to hoping Castro and his brothers are cast away for the rest of their lives.
While it is a virtual impossibility given the nature of publicity in America, it should be said that Amanda, Gina, and Michelle should be let be and allowed to tell their story and reintegrate on their own terms, whether under the public eye or otherwise. Allow them every bit of privacy that we all enjoy, by simply not bothering them. The rise of social media has allowed us a society to show what may or may not be genuine sincerity surrounding highly publicized events such as this or the aforementioned Boston bombings; that being said, let these girls be. After a decade of being forgotten, they deserve to bask in the attention and love of their families, not would-be sympathetic strangers.