A nation’s success is dependent on its people having an understanding of what makes it successful. Authoritarian governments seek success through suppressing information, and through spreading misinformation. In a democratic republic where the people have the right to vote, it is vital for information to be shared and debated. Discourse, preferable civil discourse, is essential for national success. However, too many people, who enjoy the benefits of a democratic republic, seek to hide from discourse. For whatever reasons they may give, at the end of the day, they are seeking to hide from the very responsibility they have in the maintenance of their nation and its success.
It is interesting to see so many supporters of capitalism and small government cringe.
Capitalistic exploitation of cheap resources and labor has provided a stable livelihood for many who have never felt exploited because of the protections their grandfathers voted for when robber barons last ruled.
Realization that they have become this cheap labor causes worry to build among these supporters of small government. They realize that their livelihood is controlled, not just by the modern robber barons of their own nation, but by the robber barons of foreign nations.
They realize they might need protection from the government they believe is too big.
A cringeworthy reality.
Be that someone who makes the difference.
Mob violence is never restricted to one side or the other. In the modern world, the town square is often replaced by social media groups. The pitch forks and torches of the past may have been replaced by the written word or photograph, but do not doubt that the modern version of tar and feathers damages individuals and businesses just as much, if not more so than, it did in the past. Looking the other way and hoping the furor will die down does not absolve or protect us from the tragedy when the mob takes action. While we can try to insulate our groups and personal pages from such behavior, we cannot hide from the mob, at least not permanently.
Article discussing how mob mentality is affecting the quilting world.
It requires more than just voting in order to practice informed citizenship. You cannot only tune-in every 2-4 years and hope that you’ll have more than a narrow understanding of the issues.
The world is complex and deferring your civic responsibility to others isn’t going to make you satisfied with the actions of the government.
You might not be a bad citizen if this is what you choose to do, but you won’t be an informed citizen.
Levity at the expense of another person’s feelings is still bullying. Especially when that levity depreciates the value of those feelings.
When levity is generated with the full understanding that someone else is hurting, then the levity is grossly inappropriate and unkind. Levity created in a vacuum of unawareness may be less inappropriate and less unkind, but it’s not less hurtful.
We may not always avoid hurting others, but should we not at least try to limit doing harm?
In our imperfect state, we all make mistakes and we all find ourselves guilty of less-than-kind behavior or speech, but we do not need to revel in our imperfection.
Condescension or levity when addressing someone’s fear or anger makes you the bully in the room.
After months of relative absence here and complete absence on my other blog, a new post has emerged from the rubble of a very contentious and damaging election cycle.
Looking Forward – Learning from the Past is ready for pondering.
As many other people have stated, the joking banter of an adolescent and the bragging of a man nearing retirement age are not one and the same. However, maybe it is the same if the youth acts upon his banter, harasses young women, and goes unpunished. If society condones or simply does not condemn youthful actions such as these, then society will find that the youth can grow to be an old man who has spent his life preying on others.
Society, as a whole, is made up of smaller units, and whether the smaller unit is a high school or a workplace, there is always someone who reigns over the group. When that person has questionable morals or believes they are above the law, all too often there will be victims of the abuses of their power. Whether the offender is sixteen or sixty, when that individual possesses power or authority, it makes their victimization of others more difficult to halt.
Power and authority are often the main reasons victims compartmentalize and simply try to move on. Feeling a lack of power or feeling that the fight against the abuse will cause them more harm, many victims of harassment and assault decide to exit a bad situation before it gets worse. For some, immediate exit is not possible. The high school student, the wage earner, the person dependent on the financial support of the abuser – for them, the abuse and the victimization may go on for years before an exit is viable.
For many victims of harassment and abuse, their story remains buried and their burden is born in silence until the day when someone finally cries foul and multiple voices begin to join together in protest. Then maybe, just maybe, the injustice that has been done will be heard by society and the burden will no longer be born alone.
Sadly, in these times, the many of the society who did not encounter the terror of intimidation or humiliation of assault will cry out that because it did not happen to them, it could never have happened to any of the others.
While a majority of citizens are never the victim of crime, it does not equate that crime does not exist. For those who discredit the victims of crime, there is often a combined sense of guilt and superiority behind their criticisms. They may feel a sense of guilt as they question whether they looked the other way as the harassment or crime was being committed. Or they may feel superior because they believe own actions and choices prevented them from becoming victims.
This feeling of guilt can lead many to deny the victim’s claims rather than face their own role in the society that allows the abusive behavior. This notion of superiority can lead to a rather nasty conclusion – that a victim is weak and therefore deserves their fate. It is this line of thought that leads to the acceptance of abuse as simply part of the natural order of life. It is also what empowers the bully and the abuser to embolden their actions.
While there are many things people can do to prevent being a victim of crime, too often victimization is simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Terrible things happen to even the boldest and bravest of individuals. Even those most prepared for society’s battles can fall victim. Sometimes it is simply unavoidable and out of one’s control. However, we, as members of society, can control how we respond to the harassment, abuse, and crime that is too prevalent in our lives. We can look away, pretend it does not concern us, and even joke about it in an attempt to defuse our own discomfort. Or we can denounce it for what it is and shut it down before it can spread further.
Do we really need to burn down the house in order to get out of the kitchen?
During a discussion with my children about the varied political theater which has dominated the news during the last 12 months, this rhetorical question emerged. Throughout history, a desire for change has often led to radicalization rather than the reasoned thought needed for change to be successful. Sometimes the radical voices drown out reasoned ones and disaster occurs. Other times the reasoned voices prevail.