Outrage of the day
I’ve been pondering a trend over the past few years. The big headline news in local newspapers revolve around petty crimes. DUIs, drug charges, custody violations, etc. If there are assaults, they are almost always drug related. It’s like the orange jump suit picture of the day on the front page.
If you look at the comments, you’ll see the cyber version of a town square lynching. The vitriolic judgments and unfiltered hatred are staggering.
I see three huge dangers to our society as a result of this. First, it villifies the poor and broken. And yes, I know there are some seriously bad people out there. I do not believe that is the majority of the people picked up on drug charges.
Until we see drug addiction as a societal issue, we will continue to run people through our prisons-for-profit system.
Second, this dynamic turns us on one another. “How could that asshole do such a thing?” or other judgments are merely ego asserting its presumed I’m-better-than-you over another human being.
People, we are all the same. If you were in the same situation and had the same background as that druggie, you would have made the same exact decision. Quit thinking so highly of yourself and reach for mercy.
Finally, our outrage is misplaced. We are manipulated by media and the powers that be to be distracted by in-fighting. In the meanwhile, Rome burns.
Politicians do whatever the hell they want with impunity. Corporations continue to poison the planet, destroy the middle class, and do nothing beyond protecting their own greedy self interests.
But never mind that. Let’s look at the broken 19-year-old who was raised in a low income single parent home, dropped out of school because his dyslexia made it too difficult and now sells and smokes pot because it provides him with money and turns the volume down on the negative narrative echoing in his mind.
Why do we flame this person and fail to see some of the bigger issues like poverty and a broken educational system that drive this behavior?
In the meanwhile, judges have been busted for getting kickbacks for sentencing such at risk kids to prison.
Judgment and outrage are easy and require nothing. We need more connection and kindness with one another to bring the change we wish to see in this world. There are opportunities for that every time you interact with another human.