I’m curious. How many of us are aware of our own ability to be cruel? Because we all have it.
When I hear news stories, I have a different sense of connection with each of them.
Some, I feel personally threatened either directly or by threatening the system that protect my safety. Some, I feel enraged and heartbroken by the injustice against a fellow human being.
Some, I feel it’s not right, and it’s not ok because it’s not right. Some, I know I should be upset by the news and feel a little embarrassed that I’m only conjuring being upset.
Sometimes I do think about the impact of me not being affected. They say that we, as human beings, have an incredible ability to do harm to a “group” even though we may not be a cruel person.
That incredible ability to do harm to a “group” is on display when we think about what people say about BC’s teachers after the court sided with them over and over and over and then again for the last time. How many times have we heard “Greedy teachers”?
That ability to do harm to a “group” is in play when we talk about our family members that died of cancer but completely shush about those that killed themselves. Ever called cops “pigs” even as a kid? Called addicts with derogatory names? Do you believe refs are idiots and/or don’t care?
Because I feel that the people do cruelty to a person, who they personally know, when they can see that person as a member of a group. It’s well known that a Nazi soldier would send an old friend who was Jewish to the camp. It’s known that people look the other way when a friend is discriminated for being gay.
It is known that, if an injustice is done to me, my own friends of many years would first ask me “What reason did YOU give them, though?”