Did the human race exhibit more compassion towards others in the past?
We’ve all heard accounts of battle-hardened veterans who witnessed specific horrors during a war.
It seems like there’s a tipping point of “noticing” for even the toughest people.
A soldier by implication literally signs up to destroy and kill.
As blunt as it sounds, that is the truth.
The reasons for signing up is another thing.
But irrespective of that, the job description is what it is.
So when a soldier who has been in the thick of the fight stops to take notice we can’t help but wonder what he saw.
Within this context I often look at callous remarks about human suffering.
More often than not these remarks are seen on “Social Media.”
And the question springs to mind, “what would it take for people to start recognizing human suffering?”
Personally I don’t have any hope for many Social Media platforms to ever be anything more than a narcissistic outlet for personal opinion.
Recently on a news-feed I looked at articles lumped together.
Next to a heart breaking depiction of human anguish and loss I saw tips for buying a new phone.
Under the picture of a woman mourning her loss I saw some or other inane drivel about Trump “fist-bumping” The Queen.
And last but not least, a roundup of the day’s sport.
I’m definitely not saying you shouldn’t read up on topics that interest you.
If the Queen’s story interests you, then by all means… Read all about it.
It is hilarious when seen for what it is!
The big problem here is mostly that we are saturated with information.
Human tragedy is diluted and silenced by a thunderous wave of mundane information.
There is still outrage, but the outrage is often focused on events that speak to the observer, rather than a focus on the actual tragedy that unfolds.
Even during these tragedies opinions are polarized and fighting ensues around the periphery of the tragedy.
Racial, political and economical issues among others are dragged into the topic which in turn causes debates that in turn elicit more debates.
Lately I find myself moving away from commenting altogether.
Lest I become part of the phenomenon that dilutes the real message within the article.
However, I also believe that the negative is essential for the positive to function.
Within the cesspool of unrelated and volatile comments I do notice people who are starting to rebel against the tendency to digress from the real topic.
If the negative is writing vitriolic comments intended to hurt then perhaps the negative is abstinence from writing comments.
For even the perceived positive comments also get attacked by abrasive intent.
Not even something as simple as paying respects, writing ‘condolences’ is left unscathed.
If the mob feels that a certain person had no right to pay respects, that comment will be shredded!
The writer who added a positive blip is often mercilessly chastised.
But back to the positive!
Wherever I go in the offline world I’m starting to pick up a vibe…a certain disdain for much of what was seen as gospel in the online realm.
The conundrum we face is that the online world is very visible regarding that which it preaches.
On a self-contained ecosystem such as Twitter the negative appears to rule.
That only means that the positive needs to exist, in equal parts, but not necessarily within the same platform.
These days I make it a point to talk to people in the offline world.
Making contact and showing real interest in “who” someone else is.
When you make real contact empathy becomes possible.
The battle-hardened collective that has been fighting throughout the centuries often rendered gut wrenching accounts regarding a moment of clarity when they saw themselves in the eyes of the enemy… Up close.
Within that moment of truth, the real impact of a war is felt, when the soldier realizes he is killing someone who could’ve been his own son, or someone from his own platoon or even someone whom he feels resembles himself.
When you see yourself reflected in the human tragedy that unfolds in the media, only then can you feel any form of empathy.
Only when you realize you are in fact “the other.”
As far as the media, fake news, outrage and sensationalism is concerned…
I have no idea how to combat the increasing sense of jaded emotion I perceive.
All I do know is that the antithesis, the positive side needs to be true.
And I can be an ever-growing part of the side that needn’t necessarily discard Social Media, but rather see it for what it is, or isn’t… And knowing when to let it go!
That is the moment within which you start noticing The Positive!