It looks barbaric, cruel; beyond anything we in the West would see as ‘love’ but maybe it’s the ultimate act of love? This child, a 2 year old boy, is chained to a lamp post in Beijing by his parents while they go to work. They say they cannot afford a nursery place for him and are terrified he will abducted like their 4 year old daughter who went missing a month ago, and so they chain him up while they are gone.
Is this love for their child or just a form of child abuse? The fact that they would leave him alone whilst they went to work seems to us in the West unthinkable, even criminal, but I wonder what their choices are, or what would become of him if they didn’t? I suspect that without working, they risk starvation and therefore one has to say they don’t, in fact, have a choice at all, unless they chose to give him away. Is it better to keep him at all cost, leaving him tied up on the street whilst they work, so as he can remain with them, his parents, or would he be better off being raised by others?
I don’t think here in the West we can even begin to imagine the options these people are faced with. In comparison we live lives of luxury, our daily fears and worries do not even come close to the deprivation and poverty these people face and the choices they have in life because of that. So who are we to judge these parents, to question their motives or love for their child? For most of us, we are spoilt for choice each day, from the clothes we choose to wear the food we eat, the places we go and the people we see, these people’s choices are…Should we chain our child up while we go to work or risk losing him? Is that even a choice?