“All the people. So many people.” ~ Blur
Or, as defined by my dictionary
People (n): persons collectively or in general
Everyone reading this will have made a mistake. Everyone reading this will have done something wrong. Chances are, pretty much everyone reading this will have broken the law. I do not cast aspersions but, up until February 2013 it was against the law for women in Paris to wear trousers. A later applied caveat stated it was allowed “if the woman is holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”. So, you see, it is pretty easy to break the law without even knowing about it.
My point being that we are human. And born to make mistakes, as another lyric goes. And that we all do it.
Equally, everyone reading this will have made another person smile. Everyone reading this will have achieved something. Because, again, we are human and that is what we do. Every single day.
Why then, why, oh why, are we so incredibly awful to each other? Why do we say such vile things to and about each other? Today I limit myself to talk of words not actions, for current news-related reasons, but it’s likely that most reading this will also argue against “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Because words hurt. They hurt so much it’s untrue.
We aren’t ever going to agree on everything. And the world would be worst if we did. Having different views, opinions, wants, needs, aspirations; these are all things that enrich our society. So why do so many disagreements end up coached in terms of abuse and insults? If you have an opinion but you believe others disagree, is it right to talk about them openly in insulting terms rather than engaging with?
Some people do jobs that are unpopular within society. If a traffic warden tickets your car, if a police officer clocks you speeding; these things are their job. Is it right to berate and abuse them? Their job does not define them as a person. And a person they are, under that uniform, same as you and I.
I could go on. I could cite numerous examples. It would just create a longer blog post leading to the same conclusion. We are all people. If you wouldn’t want to hear it, if you wouldn’t want it said to or about your mother, if it would make you want to rip the throat out of anyone who said it about your friend; then is it ever ok to say it?
From the Bard: “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” Yes, we do. Every single one of us.
Think about it.