Fraudsters, Con Artists, Scammers, Shameless, Ruthless People - there’s no doubt they’re among us; some of them are responsible for the recession and indeed collapse of economies worldwide and their names are in the news, big and bold. Some though, are a little less infamous and perhaps, maybe, some don’t even know who they themselves are.
I too often feel there are just too many occasions when I wonder about that last grouping. I mean, do some people really believe the crap they do is OK?
Where do we draw the many lines that are needed in life, to demarcate what is actually reasonable and honest, what has integrity and what is dishonest, ruthless, shameful?
I wish people would think about it a bit more often. I’m no angel, none of us are, and we’re all human, we all make bad judgement calls at times and do things that at the time seem ok. But there are also times when we should know better. And if we as individuals don’t realize that, then someone, or some people – society perhaps, needs to point it out.
Several things have caused me to focus on this more than normal – there’s probably several posting’s worth of them, but one in particular, the most recent, is the one that caused me to write this ‘rant’.
Yesterday evening, I received an email with photographs of the dead and dying victims of a tragic - even if caused by recklessness - accident. I did not look at the photos, I had already heard about them and knew roughly what they showed. But I could not help seeing them to some extent as I scrolled down to reply to the sender giving my thoughts about these photos - I'm not normally given to cursing in my writing, but WTF???
Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.
So you have a camera and you take photos on the spot. Maybe you were in shock and your brain ceased functioning for a while, but you’d think it would come back to life before you went so far as to put the photos of peoples brothers and sisters, daughters, sons and loved ones, broken into body parts, bleeding to death, out to all your pals in an email? Whoever you are, I guess you never stopped to think about if that was your family, or you in the photos.
It’s bad enough that our TV stations in St. Lucia for sure, (and maybe in other islands, I don’t know) put out pictures of twisted corpses and badly hurt victims on their news casts, and it always turns my stomach to see people craning and straining to get a chance to see what’s going on – who that is, how ripped apart their lifeless body is, etc. But this last thing took the lifetime achievement award for being a heartlessly asinine moronic thing to do.
And it cuts to the core of the hypocrisy of so many of us. We (and I use that term loosely because this is one thing I don’t do) take plenty time off work to dress up in black to ‘pay respects’ to people who we have but a passing acquaintance with. We quietly file into whatever Church, glance at their dressed up body in their coffin (maybe making a note to gossip with someone later about how good or bad they looked, or how cheap the coffin was or something equally empty), and we sit through the ceremony – some even go so far as to make the sacrifice of turning off their cell phone. Some don’t. Rest assured if you meet up with the family, ‘condolences’ will be offered, and relax in knowing that the grave will be covered in wreaths of flowers – at least until the last funeral-goer has left the cemetery. I wouldn’t even go into what happens at the home or rented venue after the cemetery. And I know some of us aren’t like this, but a few too many fit this description and more.
But regardless of the bad things we do while we ‘pay our respects’, the fact remains, we as a society, claim we respect the dead. I have to wonder.
Those of you who have these photos of the recent accident victims, if you have not done so already, delete them please.
Those of you, who may find yourself in a similar situation in the future, please stop and think – don’t the people, dead or still hanging on to life, have the right to some privacy in their time of tragedy? Are you helping anyone by taking and distributing photographs or video? And newscasters, reporters, station managers, it’s not even like we have much choice who we watch! You not going to lose viewers - Do you need to show these pictures? Would any of you want this for yourselves?
This is just one of many things we need to take time to consider what judgment call we should make. The Internet has put many doors in front us – those of you who read this Blog regularly know how I feel about it for the opportunities it offers the Caribbean. But some of the doors are ones we should not open, even though we can. Some doors, once opened can never really be shut again, so think, hard, with some honesty and integrity, before you act.
As always, and even more so because of the seriousness and complexity of the subject, your thoughts, questions and suggestions are very welcome.
Please pass on this post by email or using the ShareThis button below.
And if you like, you can subscribe using the RSS button or email option above so you can get notice every time I post.