We see this time and time again in society be it bankers ruining banks, tax accountants removing trust in big businesses tax affairs, MP’s conduct be it personal or financial, welfare cheats giving the genuine needy a bad name, disabled fraudsters giving disabled people a bad name, car users and cyclists detesting one another, a few corrupt officers and the whole police force are, one bad teacher/doctor/social worker, religious fanatics and hate groups tarnishing billions of peaceful people, the EDL or whatever they call themselves now making patriotism seem rascist, companies bullying individuals with huge law firms behind them to hide away from their responsibilities under various rules, and on the flip side unscrupulous individuals looking to make a fast buck and schemes like crash for cash, people parking without consideration and blocking dropped kerbs and driveways the list it seems is endless.
The same can be said for the keyboard warriors who like to do nothing more than cause arguments, post controversial statements or articles and sit back and wait or worse still people who think they can say or do whatever they want without consequence. I have over the past few months spent an enjoyable time (75% of the time) helping a small admin team run a huge page on Facebook for my local Town, given we have about 12000 residents (not sure age demographic) and we only allowed 18+ in the group we had nearly 2500 members and so Town issues got huge coverage. Indeed my own campaigns regarding access to the Town Council Owned Green Spaces with Parks and setting up the Wymondham Access Group would never have got off the ground without the page. Unfortunately though even in my hometown there was a minority of members intent on being rude, abusive and insensitive, it got to the point if we took no action we were wrong for example when someone posted photos of cars parked completely on the pavement blocking it totally for anyone, let alone people with pushchairs or impairments we were threatened by the car owners – I was told if their cars were vandalised expect a call round by them and the police (in the end the postee was bullied into deleting it by abuse) and if we took action and removed posts with no relevance to the group which was matters concerning our hometown we were accused of censorship and and abused. If we removed offensive comments we were told to grow up and let adults swear and it became everyday.
A group that was started off by a brother and sister with the aim of saving a beautiful Green Meadow given to the people of Wymondham in the 19th Century home to Wymondham Town Football Club for generations and a play area from the clutches of ASDA grew into a valuable resource. So much information was shared and it allowed coordinated campaigns against the council and sister pages were set up as a result for Jobs, Businesses and so on became a burden to the people running it who had families of their own and wanted to not have a voluntary page taking over 40 hours a week of combined time. The sad decision was reached to close the page down and whilst it was saddening there was for me as one of the administrators also a sense of relief that the draining abuse would end. The people who used the group for what it was intended and made it a delight I feel sorry for and I wish there was an alternative but we had tried so many other ways and it always ended up the same way.I would imagine the only people happy were the majority of the Councillors who are breathing a sigh of relief.
Well new groups are starting and I genuinely wish them success and less hassle than we had (although I see on one, a group of people have already been making assumptions about someone with mental ill health known to the people and still they are being lets politely say less than understanding) and I hope some have learnt a valuable lessen that was drummed in to me, use it, don’t abuse it or you’ll lose it! If only society thought of others and we were less selfish – is this a childish fantasy or a sad reflection of 21st century greed. I’m happy with the best health a disabled person can expect to have and simple things like cuddles with my family, movie nights with my wife and laughing with my friends.
Life really is too short and you never know when you may be affected by some of the issues you have mocked like blocking pavements even temporarily, or abusing designated parking areas and so on. I wish we could all experience life through someone else’s eyes just for a day, and they would be opened up I am sure.
Is it Human Nature? Survival of the Toughest – I hope not tolerance, kindness and good morals are what my children are taught let us hope others do the same.