Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Look Both Ways

I recently saw a video that’s circulating social media showing numerous instances of protesters being hit by cars.

If it wasn’t so tragic it would be like watching an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos. After all, who in their right mind would go out in the middle of a street and assume that someone is going to stop their car or even attempt to avoid hitting you.

I wouldn’t do it … not now and not 30 years ago. When it comes right down to it, people in our society have become so self absorbed that they live in a bubble. There is only room in that bubble for one person, themselves.

The indicators of selfishness have been there for years. Divorce rates are up and marriage rates are down, with more people than ever deciding to live together. Commitment doesn’t mean much these days; taking care of yourself is the most important thing.

So when the Black Lives Matter, Trump Is Not My President or “insert your cause here” protesters decide to stop traffic on a busy street (or Interstate) by standing in it; they have made a terrible choice. These days people are just not going to stop. Not only are they not looking for something like that, they are very busy talking on the phone, texting or updating their Facebook status. I’m not saying they shouldn’t stop, but I’m going to be the devil’s advocate here and say in the abstract, I don’t blame them.

Over the past several years this growing narcissism in our society has generated a surprising number of people who are convinced that they are the center of the universe. They have been told that no matter what they think or how stupid it is that their opinion is valid. The violent protests we are seeing is a manifestation of their anger. People are not listening and acquiescing to their view of the world, they are not being heard. They must up their game, they MUST be heard. After all, they are right and what they believe is righteous. If you don’t agree with them you must not be listening or you’re just too stupid to understand.

So when all these mini universes get together in a group it’s creating a super-nova of anger, because these people are further validated by being a group of the like minded. Then add to that the the recent images of rioting, cars being burned and people being dragged out of their cars and beaten, you have a toxic atmosphere.

So when people driving their car approach a crowd of people blocking the street, yelling and screaming - their reaction is a simple one, self preservation. They do what you expect someone to do, keep their foot on the gas. I can’t blame them; they’re afraid. I’m sure those images they’ve seen are flashing through their head at the time and it creates a fear. A fear that they could become the next “victim”. Their reaction is completely understandable, as misguided as it may be.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s going to get worse. Yelling, breaking other people's stuff, and insulting people is not going to work. Most certainly, inconveniencing people by holding up traffic is not a good way to convince someone you are right. You could line up a group of pregnant women across the road and I don’t believe people would stop. It would just end up looking like automobile bowling …

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