Be the Bigger Person and the list goes on…
These are all attributes allocated to the better self of humankind. We appeal to them, for the necessary and ultimate ability to live and survive this world together and intact. We need them to build communities, villages, cities and countries today. It is a must, if we plan to leave something for the future and our generations yet unborn. The opposite will lead to chaos, a world at odds with itself and one that will not survive the onslaught.
I cannot hear what you say, for the thunder of what you are. African Proverb
But what exactly does that mean these days? What is expected of the average person online and in the case of the average Squad Supporter? And I do mean any Squad…
The fact remains that the world today does tend to view these extremely beautiful and admirable qualities as weakness. They associate it with being feeble, an inability to fight back, a fear of consequences, not having the balls to…. Gone are the days when we encouraged and pushed such attributes as our cultivated persona towards life.
The Princess/Heroes Factor
Interestingly, we’re still feeding these admirable values and qualities to our children via our movies, parental instructions, etc. On children’s/Tween TV, the good child, tween, princess or hero still typically wins the day, although we do see changes in our girls’ stories these days. While in times past, Cinderella sat by the fireplace, being a doormat for her stepsisters and singing her way through mental abuse, Princesses Tiana, Jasmine, Mulan and Merida, came swinging, kicking butt, taking names and not looking for saviors. They all accomplished their dreams without losing their souls. Using their smarts, wisdom, skills, sass and bravery, they outwitted, outdid, and beat (with a bit of luck injected), whatever was in their way to save the day. Thus teaching our children today, that there is nothing wrong with fighting back while simultaneously holding your head high, on the way to accomplishing your life’s goal. This is a healthier way of life. Not sitting in a gilded castle answering to the name of Princess and being expected to accept mental abuse for that privilege. Progressive adults like Meghan understand that.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Haida Proverb
Then there is the other side, when young teens are exposed to the reality TV world. In this world, the worst behaved, the unethical, the most likely to con, and manipulate the naïve and docile cast mate receives the most attention. This attention can be misconstrued as admiration, which in turn could positively reinforce that bad behavior. These new brands of villains, rise to fame and are loved for ‘having the balls’ to do the what their kinder, ethical competitors would not do. In this way, we confuse our growing children.
To excuse our focus on their persona, we try to explain away these villains’ bad behavior. We ascribe to them characteristics such as boldness, frankness, daring and strength. Then we invoke the obligatory “grey areas’- which make everything permissible, I guess. We forgive them for their attitude. There is no punishment and the world moves on. The lesson is clear; cunning and cruelty win. The kind and caring are left with the short end of the stick. Eventually, their bad behaviors become whispers and dissipate against an increasingly powerful social media fame machine. A sign of the times – The lack of consequences and the smirk of one-upmanship, ratified.
Flying High with Dignity
Meghan and Harry curated and moderated a Time 100 conference. They discussed better use of the media in our world with experts and people in the know. Michelle Obama is \famously quoted as saying ‘when they go low, we go higher’.
If you damage the character of another, you damage your own’. Yoruba Proverb
Meghan also correctly believes there should always be push back to damaging and wrong information. We should never be silent in the face of unrelenting attack. Hence the admiration I have for Sussex Squad. Yes!!! They exist to speak truth to power, receipts in hand, to refute distorted narratives, innuendo and flat out lies. THIS SHOULD NEVER STOP. That to me does not go against any of the advice given by either the Meghans or the Michelles of this world, or any of those who encourage us to tap into to our better selves in any situation.
Evil becomes powerful when good people are silent. We know this. The silencing of good voices is the goal of wrong, and should not be allowed. The world simply cannot afford it. For that reason, good, fair, and correct must fight on and do so superiorly. I know the world shies away from words such as good and bad these days in favor of grey. I am deliberately using those terms here. We need to start embracing them again. Right is right, and wrong is wrong.
We should never subscribe to the ideology that any status is a price someone should be willing to pay for their mental health. What kind of lesson does that teach our children about who they should aspire to be or what they should tolerate?
The antics of a market buffoon provide laughter, but nobody prays that his child becomes the market buffoon. African Proverb
Meghan and Harry are to be admired for using their platform to teach and help us find a different and better way. They dared to walk away from a real, nightmare of a situation. Being “the most trolled individual, male or female in a single year” as she said was “almost unsurvivable”. Alone and without help or support it seems, from her marital family means she has firsthand, personal experience. We always encourage our loved ones to get out of unbearable, abusive and controlling spaces. We teach our loved ones to set boundaries. They’ve done just that. Now they are using the experience as a springboard to engender the quest for a healthier and kinder world, online and off.
For those of the Christian faith, it is said that praying for your enemies and turning the other cheek means being a good Christian, because vengeance is the Lord’s – who is also extremely forgiving. A recent song titled TRY JESUS by Tobe Nwigwe gives one a very real human, perspective of forgiveness. He contends with his humanity, and reluctance to turn the other cheek. This is just one example. Other religions also teach forgiveness. The point is that, it’s an internal dialogue that happens with all of us, shaped by various influences that leads us to the decision of whether to ignore or fight back. Society constantly seizes on the concept of forgiveness to deprive people of just recourse. Two wrongs don’t make a right, they say. The aggrieved party sometimes ends up being cast as intolerant or aggressive for standing their ground or fighting for what they believe in.
This in my opinion, has given a green light to bad behavior. We see it in the royal reporting world, where people freely write or express very offensive things about the Sussexes, but cry foul when they receive push back. Those of us holding them accountable are called abusive. It is indeed a ploy to silence us and give them free reign.
Watching the news, you can see evidence of it, although it is becoming less so. It seems that it is barely announced that another victim (usually minority) has been wrongly accused/killed, etc., before society starts to ask for forgiveness from the victim’s family, on behalf of the assailant. The story of the victims’ forgiveness becomes the focus, rather than the remorse of the assailant. It’s almost as if forgiveness is expected. An unfair burden to impose.
Every person should determine what this means personally and decide for themselves. We should not be guilted or intimidated into abetting bad behavior.
Be the Bigger Person and the list goes on…
Absolutely lovely virtues to live by. They should apply to us as individuals as well as organizations, whether that be journalists, media conglomerates, etc. There should be one standard. When that standard is broken, we must speak up, we must fight back and we must stand our ground. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pushing back on willful, malicious lies. We do not have that luxury. They expect attention for their infamy, but what they will get is a reckoning. If people want to avoid a “pile-on”(deliberately coded language used to avert responsibility), they should listen to their own one-sided moral sermon and stop lying, making things up or whatever else they do to break the standard. Preach to the real aggressors, to prevent them from earning a “pile-on” also known in the real world as consequences.