Editorial – Having your sleep interrupted by an amber alert does not qualify as an emergency

Tom Henihan

Egocentric people have an overriding belief that their concerns and circumstances preclude all other considerations.

Being easily inconvenienced and generally unaccommodating towards others is their default position.

No matter how urgent another person’s situation may be, even a life and death situation, it seems that extremely egocentric people believe that their concerns must always take priority, as they also believe that if something does not affect them directly, then it cannot be important.

As with all other vices, we are all prone to selfishness.

However, selfishness comes in varying degrees, and while no measure of selfishness is attractive, the spectrum runs the gamut to some extreme cases.

A graphic illustration of this brand of extreme egotism is the response by some people to a recent Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) amber alert.

The amber alert, issued out of concern for two children who went missing, went out in the early hours of the morning and fortunately, the children were found safe and well with their grandfather in Toronto.

However, a substantial number of people took exception to having their sleep interrupted by a trivial amber alert concerning two children, and some of them peevishly decided to call the emergency line, 911 to complain.

Fortunately, the OPP were unmoved by these shameless individuals’ complaints and are now considering pursuing charges for abuse of the 911 emergency lines.

In a CBC report, the Ontario Provincial Police said it “will not apologize for using all of the tools available to help locate a child.”

It is difficult to enforce a sense of common decency, that sense should emanate from within the individual, but these malcontents should be held to account and maybe then they will become morally alert, enough to feel ashamed of their shameful behavior.

And it is shameful, because in these individuals insular, egocentric world their uninterrupted sleep is more important than the welfare of others including children.

The way they see it: they have their own lives to live so do not bother them, especially when they are sleeping.

They have relinquished the idea of collective responsibility so they act callous and decidedly anti-social.

To complain about an amber alert going off in the middle of the night is also absurd, as it contends that the OPP could find a more suitable schedule for emergencies.

No community can function without cooperation and social norms that everyone adheres to in order to function as a cohesive society.

If everyone adopted the same selfish attitude as these individuals, they in their hour of need might learn the meaning of real inconvenience.

Besides, it cannot be nearly as inconvenient as these people claim, because I assume those without empathy, unencumbered by care or conscience, can fall back to sleep as rudely as they were awakened.

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