I do not know about you, but I have become increasingly weary of the incessant attention to celebrities’ lack of civility and respect for others, and the media’s reporting it as “news” for at least a week. We can react by ranting about our society’s demise and increasing violent behaviors everywhere we look. This media attention reminds me of the saying, “With great power comes great responsibility” whose reported origins vary.
Keeping that sentiment in mind, this past week many people have remained engrossed in reports about an actor assaulting a comedian following an insensitive joke at the Academy Awards. I do not condone this action or violence in any form. What I am talking about is the fact that the chatter about the incident — supposition as to the psychological origins of it and who said what since — continues to keep the public listening.
The fact is I do not know these people and neither do most people discussing them. These are individuals who have more wealth and privilege than I can even imagine. And they have no effect on my daily life.
Perhaps it is time to change our focus. I have wondered what would happen if we collectively focused our time and energy on those things that we can work to change.
My contribution may be small, such as checking on a friend or neighbor experiencing difficulties, being kind, and thanking the people who help me check out and bag my groceries. I can be patient with the new server who is waiting on me in a restaurant. I can thank the public employee who assists me. I can pay someone a sincere compliment and attend community activities that others spend weeks or months planning. I can consume less and recycle. I can learn to make my community a more equitable and welcoming environment and help someone even when it is not convenient.
This is only a small list of things I can do. There are serious problems in our world. But I can use my energy to make my community better through acts large or small. If enough of us did this in our various communities, just imagine the kind of world in which we would live.