The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

You Think You Have It Hard? Try Being Told You’re Not Good Enough Within 28 Days Of Life.
August 6, 2010, 6:18 am
Filed under: Comment

So I read in the paper that last week, a month old, beautiful baby boy was found abandoned very close to where I work.

He was left on some grass by a hospital, with only some clothes and diapers for company and whilst he is perfectly healthy, he has deformed ears which Police believe is the reason he was rejected by his parents.

He is being cared for by nurses at present but by the time this post comes out, he will have probably been sent to a children’s home unless his parents come forth.

Let’s think about that for a moment.

A beautiful, wonderful, sweet baby boy – and he is all those things and more – gets ‘told’ he is not good enough within a month of his life starting, resulting in the chances of him being able to forge a half decent life in the most competitive, populated country on Earth has suddenly magnified in difficulty.

Tragically this is a fairly common situation – this is the 4th such abandonment near our office in the past month – and whilst I have an idea that I am going to explore that I think might be able to help in a rather devious way, I want to talk about something else.

Many people in the West think they have it tough.

Of course some do, but I’m talking about the people who have the trappings that others would regard as wealth beyond reason.

They have good, well paid jobs … live in nice places … have beautiful possessions and yet they feel they are a victim of life.

A victim of life.

Imagine living in a society so harsh that a single fault could result in total and utter abondanment.

Not just for one day. For life.

Imagine the pressure you would feel to deliver – as well as conform – so when Westerners say the people of Asia are narrow minded or stupid it pisses me off because [1] they’re not and [2] their behaviour/attitude [in certain circumstances] is driven by the paralysis of their countries ‘rules of engagement’ not lack of ability.

I absolutely love China and Asia … I love it for a whole host of reasons, of which it’s appreciation of family is a major one … however it’s ability to cut off ties in an instant is both shocking and vicious to me, and whilst I am not saying [1] all Asian people have this mindset or [2] this doesn’t happen in the West [as the recent incident in France proves] it doesn’t make it any easier for me to take.

Maybe if these abandoned babies could be adopted by people outside of China it would be a teensy bit better – but like most countries, foreign adoption is notoriously difficult to achieve – but this does help explain China’s relentless advancement because when you come from a culture that adopts a stance of ‘shape up or ship out’, you will work harder and appreciate more because the option to complain to your boss about your pay not covering the cost of your image-obsessed lifestyle isn’t there.

If the person who who this post is aimed at reads it [yes, it’s you KT], I hope they understand what I am saying … because I think their entitlement attitude should be rewarded with a fist in the face, not a compassionate and warm hearing.

Get a fucking grip, you’ve done hardly anything to justify a single element of the outrageously good life you have and if anything you should keep your gob shut because if you were born in this wonderful – but occasionally harsh country – you’d of been left behind, not greeted with such warm, open arms and smiles.

30 Comments so far
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WOW I wasn’t expecting that ending for the post, someone has really pissed you off haven’t they. I hope whoever they are, they realize how lucky they are especially when they read about that poor little boy.

(Is there anything I can do to help?)

This post reminds me that underneath the super economic growth of China and their insatiable appetite for branded goods lies a society that is still grappling with deeply held cultural beliefs which both drives their growth as well as their fear.

Good post Robert.

Comment by Pete

you might be a planning prick who likes shit music, clothes, movies, food and football but youre a fucking kind and generous softy who does shit that makes me feel like a selfish bastard because i thought id been shat on more than an armitage shanks.

well done on the guilt trip campbell, grade fucking a there.

to kt. stop being a fucking self centered twat. youve done fuck all to even justify living that fucked delusion in your head so open your eyes, smell the coffee and get a life but it would be better if you went back to the pampered little hole you came from because everyone knows you think youre better than everyone else even when you roll out your contrived “im no one special” bullshit, delivered in your unique “im so fucking special” way.


campbell wont want me to tell anyone what he and jill have done but its a fucking awesome thing and he has a fucking awesome evil genius idea to try and make a difference. yes im fawning. yes its over campbell. get over it. i even like this post because he has attempted to give a glimpse into why those chinese fuckers work 50 hours a day and churn out stuff that makes the rest of the world look back in awe, fear and fucking bankrupcy.

and before any bastard gets pissy i called them chinese fuckers, everyones a fucker: brit fuckers, yank fuckers, russian fuckers. im an equal opportunity fucker but only if theyre in their 20s, female and smokin.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thanks matey.

Comment by Rob

bit fucking tight with the compliments arent you campbell, especially after the glowing fucking praise i just dumped on your head.

Comment by andy@cynic

Can I clarify:

or ‘Smoking?’


Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’m certainly more shocked at Andy being complimentary than hearing Rob has done something compassionate, afterall we didn’t nickname him Florence Nightingale for nothing.

Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help Robert as regards the little boy and keep helping people understand the mystery of Asia because people tend to only say what is going on rather than why.

I don’t know who this KT is but they need to pull their head out their ass.

Comment by Bazza

The sad fact is that the situation I describe above about the little boy is not an isolated affair – far from it – so it’s not a case of helping out on a one off basis, it’s helping out fullstop.

I do have an idea I’m investigating that I think could help children who are victims of a specific set of circumstances, but the reality is this kind of thing is a result of a bunch of factors, of which ‘parental cruelty’ is probably not even in the top 10 reasons, at least from the perspective of the people who do it.

It’s very easy to blame people for acts we cannot comprehend and whilst I am in no way advocating what has – and continues – to happen, it’s more complex than many of the reasons attributed to them by individuals who haven’t even been to the country.

Comment by Rob

good comment campbell. too easy to think the parents are cruel but if that was the case they wouldnt of put the little sod where he could be seen or with some clothes and diapers. i cant even fathom what would make someone do this but thats better than being one of those fuckers who just equates it to all chinese being cruel bastards.

Comment by andy@cynic

Wow, intense post…

I can’t even comprehend how hard a situation like that is… when parents are so pressured by society that they have to abandon their own new born child. I dont know if you know the answer to this; but do they even want to do it? Or do they feel like they have no choice? Either way, it’s fucking sad.

Good luck with your evil plan (for good), Rob & Jill.

Comment by Age

Good post about something people don’t always want to talk about Rob. And good luck with your plan, if I can help in any way just let me know.

Comment by Rafik

The agency I worked with when I was living in China supported these guys:

We all had opportunities to raise funds, put together drives to collect things that were needed, built and painted playrooms, or just hold babies…all kinds of things.

Hearing stories a nursery of babies who are silent because they have learnt that no one comes when they cry is pretty devastating.

I could bash on about not judging and just helping…but I know you’re there.

We also developed a program to help babies and young children stay in China and get them out of orphanages as quickly as possible.

Let me know if you like some help developing an action plan, or anything else I can do to help. This one is very close to my heart.

Comment by katiechatfield

The story you tell is devastating, made worse by you highlighting an individual who appears to not realise how fortunate they are.

Your point that parents who do such acts may have reasons that go against our natural view is a good one, but does not make the situation less tragic.

You know where I am should you require additional help.

Comment by Lee Hill

In the situation I detailed above, I don’t need any help except for you all to hope that the things I’ve put in motion reconnect a family … but this is happening a lot throughout China amongst other places, so if you want to be involved, please don’t wait for me – just go for it, be it with the group Katie details or one of the many associations committed to helping curb both these circumstances and the causes that drive it.

Comment by Rob

I’m a Dad, can’t say anything constructive, too angry

Comment by northern

Whoever KT is… they sound like a cock.

Good post. I look forward to seeing what your idea is.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

This breaks my heart.

Comment by Jonathan

go on campbell, tell them what you did. inspire creative charity in all of us.

Comment by andy@cynic

Not until the [fingers crossed] whole plan comes off Andy.

And it’s nothing special, it’s just doing something rather than wishing I did. Anyone can do it – try it.

Comment by Rob

fuckin’ hell.

and jesus rob, could you be any more fucking amazing? andy has pretty much heaped all the kind of praise i could hope to, so there’s not a whole lot i can add.

except to say that i’m so glad you’re in china. we need people like you there. i think i would just cry.

Comment by lauren

lets not go to fucking far lauren, hes good but hes not the saviour of the fucking universe. thats flash gordon. (“ahhh ahhh”) but youre right we do need more people like him there, keeps them the fuck away from us. oh i cant be a shit to him today, hes been a fucking good man but he needs to do a fuckload more if he wants his good karma numbers in the positive.

Comment by andy@cynic

did you really just reference flash gordon WITH the music theme? i think that is the geekiest thing i have ever seen you do. i think you’re ill. i think you need a lie down.

Comment by lauren

it was a gift to campbell but i feel so fucking depraved after doing it that i want to drink a bottle of acid. apologies to you lauren and to my self fucking respect.

Comment by andy@cynic

Very kind words Lauren, but we’ve done nothing except hopefully help make the situation a little better. Maybe because the situation is so overwhelming, people don’t feel they can help – but it’s amazing what you can do by just turning up to a hospital and saying “I want to help”.

Comment by Rob

That came across as being very patronising – one of the problems of blogging – because that’s not how I meant it to come across and I certainly wasn’t trying to imply I am better than anyone who doesn’t do this sort of thing, far from it … so sorry if it came across that way.

Comment by Rob

it didn’t come across as patronising at all. you’ve been more patronising in other posts, but not this one.

see what i did there? 😉 [love you!]

and you can downplay it however the fuck you want, you still do rad things. and you inspire others to do rad things. which makes you awesome. /story.

Comment by lauren

We had a similar problem in Lithuania. Few times babies were left in dustbins, elevators, etc. by poor and cruel people. Some of them were dead already on a time they were spotted. So now we have a so called “Life counter/window/box”, don’t know how to translate correctly into english.

This place is established near maternity hospital, it’s a space where you can bring and leave baby anonymously. There are motion detectors, so when there is someone moving the watcher comes and checks.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

Hi TOTOinTrouble, good to have you back and thank you for your comment. It’s sad that a ‘life window box’ is even neccessary but the alternative is so sad that we should welcome such entrepreneurial concepts. Out of interest, why do you think the situation happens in Lithuania – is it like China, a bunch of complex social and cultural reasons or something more specific to each family?

Comment by Rob

Hello, Rob. If i understood correctly, this baby boy mentioned in your post was left because of his ears which as his parent thinks will be a barrier to a normal life/carier.

I don’t think it’s the same in Lithuania. The competition here is not so tough and there isn’t such a rule that you can have only one child and for another one you have to pay. Moreover after a birth one of parent can take a two years holiday to raise a baby and during this period he/she (i’m not [forgot that word] either) gets very good allowance. So this bad thing happens only by bad,cruel,poor,stupid people and often they are alcoholics.

Comment by TOTOinTrouble

We also can’t forget how the one child per family policy is a huge factor in many of these seemingly awful parental decisions…

Comment by Laura Skirt

Hello Laura – nice to have you pop by. Yes you’re right, the one child policy does have a major bearing in this sort of tragic circumstance but without wishing to sound like I am defending the parents in some way [especially as I may have helped encourage a happy ending to this whole sorry episode] I do think there’s a lot of other factors all combining together to make this most terrible of decision to occur of which – as I said previously – parental cruelty is not neccessarilly in the top 10.

Hope you come back and comment some more.

Comment by Rob

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