Instant noodles, instant Internet access, instant gratification. Instant purchases promise happiness and guarantee delivery but don’t allow for reflection. A flare of anger becomes harsh words on Facebook or a hurtful blog; neither can be erased. There is no cooling off. Harsh words are matched by harsher words and the hurt ricochets, reverberating across the ether. The pain is magnified as the virus of cruelty spreads. Amplified by uncaring, it de-sensitises, making anger and violence an everyday occurrence.
Why such glee at the discomfort of others? Only insecurity and unkindness revel in the pain of others. Our Prime Minister slips and falls. Instantly, images circle the globe making a cruel entertainment. A million people choose to snigger at her fall. Possibly this is the same million who choose not to engage in the policies or issues which are her job. It’s easier to jeer free from effort or responsibility. Its entertainment not engagement, unkindness without reflection; nastiness unfettered by consequences.
But, every time we offer unkindness, let alone violence or cruelty, we damage ourselves not our target. We are weakened by our weakness, hardened by exposure, demeaned by meanness. Our powerful communication tools offer an unparalleled medium for sharing, let’s not share meanness and pain, let’s pause before hitting the send button and think about the impact.
Published in InDaily, October 22 2012