Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Have we become a nation of humiliators?

Image by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Movie star's private nude photos exposed on-line. Politician caught on secret video smoking crack. Celebrity DUI photos on-line. News reporter's comments when they thought they were off-the-air broadcast. The list goes on and on.

On the opposite side of the coin from all this is a saying: a friend hides a friend's shame.

Whatever happened to that? Today, people want to see people humiliated, ridiculed, defeated, at their worst. Like motorists forming a "gaper's block" we eye the tangled mess of humanity with our mouths hanging open.

Can't we do better than this?

Life is too short to be drawn into such base pursuits as glorying in others' shame and misfortune. All the major websites offer the latest salacious, lurid, titillating stories they can find, begging your attention to click to drive up their advertising revenue. They'll do anything for more. More of your attention. More of your money. More of, ultimately, your life.

Don't give it to them. There's a higher plane to be lived on. Like the saying 'Take the high road—there's very few people traveling on it.' Protect people from shame, rather than taking part in exploiting it. Resist the siren-like, magnetic pull of the media. Realize that these people are consciously, calmly, cold-heartedly setting out to control you, to suck you in.

Humanity is a great thing. A noble thing. Do human beings fail? Do they fall? Of course, but we need not participate in celebrating it. Celebrate instead people's nobler actions. There are good people everywhere doing good things. Find them. Be edified by them.

And do good things yourself. People are either building into this world or taking from it. Be a builder. Contribute. Claim your part in a grand vision of just how wonderful humanity can be—and ignore the gutter.

You're better than that. We're all better than that.


  1. Once again, if you do something good, nobody knows.
    If you do something wrong, the whole world knows about with every single detail.
    From the old Reporting class in college: "The journalist mission is to inform the truth.
    (And valuable information) The news must be limited to answer the WH questions: Who, What, How, When and Where not stories to feed the trash vultures."

    1. Thanks Ana. "The trash vultures." That really captures them.

  2. Great advice and encouragement. You always have something very meaningful to share. Keep on helping mankind. We are either part of the problem or part of the solution. Thanks

  3. Thanks cjoy. Part of the problem or part of the solution. Couldn't agree more.

  4. Excellent and I wish the people who need this would see it. You nailed it. I'm so disillusioned with what society has become. Thanks Gregg.

  5. Thanks for the comment. Appreciate it.


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