While looking for weird things online to comment on, I found this article on The Huffington Post where a man conducts an amazing experiment in social behavior. Countless people confronted him and gave him a thorough dressing down for wearing a placard that read “F*** The Poor”, but not one stopped to help his cause when he changed his sign to read “Help The Poor.”
This, to me, illustrates an uncomfortable aspect of our society and in human psychology; we are much more likely to act on anger than on kindness.
We all know that it’s wrong that so many people who work hard to make ends meet and fail or want to work hard and aren’t given the opportunity exist, but it seems that it’s only when people are somehow directly offended by it that they are motivated to do something about it.
Now, this is a problem because it means that true altruism becomes a rarity within a society. In addition, anger is a force that is very difficult to turn off once it has been started and can become toxic when left unchecked.
However, it doesn’t take much effort to see that many changes for the better came as a result of the wrath and frustration of others. Women’s rights have made leaps and bounds because one group of 68 women (and the 32 men that supported them) were sick of not having the comforts and rights of men. Racial and ethnic minorities became more recognized when they called out their oppressors.
Obviously, I’m not saying that everyone should riot in the streets over the injustices that we face today. I am saying, however, that it seems that being angry enough at a problem to want change it is a necessary phase; messy and undesirable as it maybe.
To put it in the geekiest terms I can muster, the movie Network was right; before any change for the better can happen, you have to be mad enough to say, “I’m a human being, Goddamn it! My Life has Value!”