Sunday, April 16, 2017

Who Have We Become?

And not just the CEO of United. Not just the employees who dragged this man off the plane. Not just the police who aided and abetted. All of us.
The passengers who took video's. Rather than offering up their own seats. Or stepping in. And just saying. This is wrong.
I watched the whole video. All the way through. Did I do so because I was shocked? Or did I do so out of trainwreck curiosity?
If you do watch the whole video. It becomes quite clear at the end. That the gentleman in question has issues. He is horribly disturbed.
I can understand why. But do most of us really care? Do most of us watch the video and say. This man believed himself to be in a place of safety. And they made him feel unsafe. Or do we just snigger at such a notion?
Do we really care? Or do we just use it as an excuse to attack large corporations?
Do we really care? Or do we post another attack on the police?
Do we really care? Or is it just another opportunity for political insult, political point-scoring?
What do we care about? Who have we become? We engage in verbally violent language about anyone who does not agree with us. And then we wonder that casual violence follows.
We think that it is better to gain fifteen minutes of fame through viral social media. Than doing the right thing. Stopping the wrong thing.
We believe ourselves righteous. Yet we cannot see the poisonous self-righteousness when our positive outlook survives only because we perceive the negative so strongly in others.
Why do we redefine the most basic values? Find reasons to hedge on simple truths, like honesty, responsibility, loyalty, and decency? I mean, what the heck ever happened to the notion of simple decency in civic life? In every aspect of our lives?
And we are all to blame. None of us is excused. We have all of us left decency behind. There is now always too much at stake in winning with respect to all that we do.
When did we put aside the idea of losing gracefully? The notion that there is not always just one right? When did we decide that preaching was more important than listening? Winning more important than taking part?
When did we lose sight of the fact that maintaining the dignity of others should always be more important than the way we look to our friends, to our gallery, on Facebook, on Twitter, in the mirror?
When will we all wake up, look in that same mirror, and truly ask of ourselves: who have we become?

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