Folks, excuse me as I dust off the old soapbox. I have something I need to get off of my chest. With the turmoil in recent weeks around the world and on our own shore, I am left in a state of bewilderment as to what is going on.

   I know I come from the generation of grunge music and a general discontentment with everything around me. However, I really find myself shaking my head more and more. I was listening to a video on YouTube and I think the presenter summed it up pretty well — we’ve lost our virtue as a society.

   Now, you can define virtue however you like. I won’t get into politics or morals here per say. But, I think we can all agree, the general kindness for our fellow human being is fading and fewer remnants of it remain.

   I know quite a few people were upset by the news of Robin Williams’ passing. I was one of them. But what I was more disturbed by was the reaction of trolls on the internet to Williams’ daughter Zelda — flooding her social media pages with doctored photos of her deceased father and other equally heinous acts.

   How dare someone do that! How dare they! I don’t care who you are, no one, and I mean, no one deserves that. I lost my father to a brain aneurysm in my early 20s and cringe at the thought that someone would do something like that, period — let alone during a time of grief.

   Reading the reactions to the situation in Ferguson I equally shake my head at both sides of the issue. Violence counteracted with violence gets us nowhere. Looting does not get your point across. Likewise, pointing military-grade hardware at unarmed journalists and other civilians doesn’t help the matter either.

   I am all for peaceful demonstration and standing up for your beliefs. I will champion for the underdog whenever I get the chance; it’s the social activist in me. But I can’t justify destroying people’s livelihoods who have nothing to do with the situation at hand, or threatening and/or hurting those who are not harming anyone.

   I just don’t get it. I look around and I see more and more violence, hatred and distrust.

   A little closer to home, my friend Beccie and I decided to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge. We like to help groups however we can. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. So after soaking ourselves and challenging our friends, we posted the video online. Call me naive, but I really didn’t think that of all things I posted to my Facebook would cause a backlash. If I’d posted something political or religious, I’d get it. But two people trying to do something nice and have a bit of fun? I was naive.

   Within minutes of the video being online, one friend who I was sure would have stepped up to the plate informed us she “didn’t do internet fads.” While I found that disappointing, I dismissed it. When her friend, a man I have never met, left a video in response that essentially said anyone participating was only seeking attention and not doing it for the right reasons — I got a little hot under the collar.

   You don’t know me, Mr. Random Internet Person. You have no clue what I do or what my intentions are. If you think I dumped ice on my head to get attention or become famous, you are sorely mistaken. I know we’ve established I’m naive, but that doesn’t make me pretentious or deluded. I just don’t understand the need to attack someone you don’t even know for doing something most people would consider positive.

   I’m not saying we should all hold hands and sing “Kumbayah,” and please don’t think I am suggesting the actions of Mr. Internet are on par with the situations I mentioned previously. Not even in the same league; not even the same sport. It merely serves as another example of that lack of virtue or maybe someone’s mom not reiterating that “If you can’t say anything nice…” advice enough.

   I just think if we showed our fellow man an ounce of respect, we’d all be a lot better off. Maybe it is because I subscribe to the credo of live and let live and try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. I don’t know.

   What I do know is I am looking for the brakes on this handbasket our world’s riding in.

3 Responses

  1. Dovesland

    I wanted to take a minute to respond to this thought provoking blog post.

    I am Robin’s business partner, otherwise known as Mama Doves or Fem Wonder, and this topic has been one we have talked about for weeks. I am a social worker and a civil rights activist, so I know that I tend to look at the world through my own rose colored lenses, but lately it seems that people have just lost their compassion for their fellow man.

    When we posted our video, I had hoped that like the other things we do of a similar nature, it would make a positive impact. I did not expect someone who didn’t even take the time learn that we donate, time, money or social media posts to worthy causes on a consistent basis would accuse us of being attention seekers. I hoped that people who had the money to do so would donate, or if they were not financially able like I am at this time in my life, would do the challenge or share the video to spread the message so others could have an opportunity to do so. Instead, we were attacked by a video being left on our site and he didn’t have the courage to say it in his own words instead he left a video of someone else saying it so he could have “plausible deniability” when we confronted him about it.

    Also, we watch all of these videos and posts showing people filming all of these horrible things, but where is the coverage of these same people stopping it? Is it that important to film it and post it online? Is it too hard take a minute to find a solution and help implement it? And to those of us watching, when did we stop reaching out to help people in these situations?

    Years ago, I had a fire. I was devastated. Robin, being the amazing Power Fem she is, took charge and by the end of the night, she had rounded up people, clothing, furniture and support on a level that helped me get back up on my feet and recover from this tragedy. Not to mention 9 grown adults, some of whom I had never met, to help me bury my two cats that died in the fire in the pouring rain in her backyard.

    Where did that type of sentiment go? When did we as a society stop helping each other? When did we stop caring for each other? When did it become more important to knock someone down instead of offering them a hand up?

  2. Ambermc

    I confess to being the friend who doesn’t do internet fads. I don’t have any money to donate to anyone, (heck, I’m draining my savings to pay bills as we speak), and didn’t see the point in making my own ice bucket video just to fit in with the current internet trend. While I appreciate others bringing light to the need to donate and supporting a worthy cause, I think the challenges and videos take it a bit farther than necessary. Just my thoughts though. You keep doing what you do, and don’t let the haters bring you down.

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