MY SAY : Make Them Feel Blessed Not Shamed

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  • A new life gifted by God in an act of love
    A new life gifted by God in an act of love

The gruesome photo circulated online of a newborn baby girl’s dead body, abandoned among the trash at the Mulifanua wharf, went beyond heart breaking.

 Heart shattering would be a little closer.

The blow struck so deep it broke loving hearts into bits and pieces by those unfortunate enough to see it. 

What a cruel scene!  How tragic an ending to a precious, innocent life.

Our religious upbringing taught us that babies are gifts from God.  Why was the mother of the baby blessed with this ‘unwanted’ gift? 

So many asked that question.  There are no easy answers within our human grasp.

To say that the Lord works in mysterious ways is always our ‘go to’ resort for relief.   We would have wanted to know more but in this life we live, it will have to do.

Trying to imagine what this baby went through, if she was still alive when her mother left her in the foul smell of rotting trash, exposes the heart to a merciless punching combination of love, rage, concern, hope……  

But we cannot afford to dwell on these emotions.  We should definitely not.

If we want to snap out of our trauma and hold on to our sanity, it is time we should think proactive rather than reactive.

Crying tears over the dead baby or condemning the mother is normal human reaction.  But it has to end or there will be no more tears to cry.

Last month, the body of a 6th month old baby washed onto the sand beach at Lauli’i and was greeted with the same public uproar as Mulifanua.

Child bearing women are throwing babies away. Why?  The psychology of loving or non loving mothers are for the mind experts to decipher.

But should we not look into our own society to see if we are in some way collectively influencing this infamy?

We have hard questions we know we have to ask and unless we are prepared to be honest with ours answers, we should not waste our time asking.

Even a bush psychologist would argue that these women who throw their babies in the sea or the trash, are doing so because it was for them the last and only option.

Yes the crime is theirs but are we as a society not guilty in many ways as well and should be held responsible too?

For every frightened, unmarried young girl we shamed as a society for being pregnant without a husband, are we not encouraging them to trash or drown their newborn babies?

Are we not responsible as a society in making her feel guilty of bringing shame to  herself, family, village and church, to the point where her only resort is to ‘hide’ the shame?

We don’t need a degree in human nature to know what our guilty conscience is nagging at. 

When we have finished reacting is it not our duty to our guilty heart and to our loving God who gifted us with this new life, to act?

If we as a society encourages the mother of this child to feel blessed rather than shamed, will that not go a long way into finding a lasting solution?

Would our act of good deed open our eyes to the mysterious ways of God? 

The brutal taking of the lives of these defenseless babies, makes one wonder if God is working on one of His mysterious ways, to show us why we should love and not shame our fellow man.

The scholars of the bible and the servants of the Lord inspired by divine guidance are the ones better trained to help explain the Word.

In our society the ‘aiga’ or family holds a central role in our Samoan culture.   We love to boast about our ‘matai system’ and its unique abilities to keep us stable.

If it is, then why are these young girls pushed to the extreme? Could this same pride in culture be blamed as part of the problem? 

If our proud matai system is not already extending its stablising influence to reassure and offer support to these young girls, why?

Is this not the critical time when they needed help the most to save their newborn babies and the ordeal lurking for them if they don’t?

As a society we must delve into the depths of our moral obligations in our search  for answers, to truly treasure the blessings of a newborn child.

Personal pride is to be celebrated but not adored or it will bring about our downfall. 

What ever the demands of our society, we should always put the love of our daughters and the blessings of a new life before our human pride?