Usagi Drop Episode 04: Caring for the Defenseless

Rin represents one among millions

Count me among the many that are utterly charmed by the Usagi Drop anime.  This past week featured a new character, Yukari Nitani, a single mom.  The connection may be loose, but I thought of the Book of James, which among other books of the Bible, tells followers to care for widows and orphans:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

— James 1:27

A concern for early Christians was caring for the weak and most powerless in 1st century Palestine.  And though widowhood may be less common percentage-wise these days, I think the same thought is true – we should be caring for those who need it.  Yukari is no widow – but she is a single mom, and as can be expected, she is overwhelmed.  I doubt that most single mothers, who by necessity develop a toughness of character, want charity, but I’m sure that we can somehow assist those that we know in our own lives.  My wife and I once volunteered for Big Brother Big Sister, and I know the simple hours we gave to a single mother in that program by taking her son out were invaluable.

Of course, the comparison for Rin is closer – she is practically an orphan, with a deceased father and an absent mother.  Daikichi has done both the honorable and compassionate thing by sacrificing much (another wonderful topic ripe for discussion from this episode) to care for Rin.  I hope that we all at some time in our lives at least consider adoption.  Max Lucado once tweeted that if every Christian in America adopted one child, there would be no more orphans.  Of course, this idea isn’t limited to Christians.  Even if your final decision is “no” (and this could be a good answer for a variety of reasons), I hope that we’ll also seriously consider adopting sometime in our lives, rather than leaving it as just a passing thought that we think is nice.

What about you?  Do you have experiences with single mothers (maybe you’re own)?  Is there something you can do for a single parent that you’re close to?  What about adoption – is that something you could see in your future?


8 thoughts on “Usagi Drop Episode 04: Caring for the Defenseless

  1. I’ve always wanted to be a big brother. If not for the civil service, but even for the satisfaction of knowing what it’s like to look after someone from a “big brother” role. I grew up an only child, and although I was close to my cousins, I had no particular experience like that.

    If I don’t ever get married later on, I often wonder what the possibilities are for adopting children.

    1. I totally get ya – I’m an only child also and always wanted a sibling. But unlike you, I wanted more of a confidant (twin?) rather than someone to care for. I think I suffered from the selfish syndrome that comes along for many who are only children. It’s only as a parent that I get to enjoy the elder-taking-care-of-younger situation, even if the dynamic is quite a bit different from siblings.

  2. I always think about that, adpoting that is. I have a little sister and in my personal opinion, I do a better job at taking care of her then my parents do. There is more to life then just providing shelter and food for your child. Being able to understand them is just as important.

    As for a single mother, my neighbor is one and she is very lonely because of the desicions she made in life. Her kids aren’t very fond of her and she herself is sick. I am considering going to join her since after all she is a cook. Maybe I can learn to bake cakes :]

    1. Wow, this is the first time you’ve commented on my blog! 🙂

      It’s wonderful that you’ve thought about these ideas – I know you’re a compassionate person, and that’ll certainly suit your care taking both now and in the future.

  3. I have to say that I am tempted every time I watch this or read My Girl. Adoption is certainly one of my options in the future, although my parents will certainly have some interesting words for me if that is the road I choose. At the same time, I am entering a busy profession (after graduating from another busy profession), so the time I have to spend with my future child will be limited. Therefore, I am not certain I should be adopting as I cannot provide the care I would like to provide to my future child. At the same time, doing nothing is also detrimental as I am not providing what little imperfect support that I could provide. It is at times like this I admire the protagonist in Usagi Drop so much — I wish I could say that my love (or my faith, for that matter) is strong enough to give up everything I worked towards for decades.

    1. Thanks for the comments – it’s encouraging to know that people are seriously thinking about adoption. But yeah, not every situation is workable, though I think Usagi Drop (despite being fiction) shows that it can work and that a child can flourish in even less-than-ideal circumstances.

      Though it doesn’t fit your situation, it’s funny that you write about the topic of work in regards to childcare, because that’s what my next post is about!

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