If you are a long time reader of this blog, you will know that I love people and am always looking for the good in everyone but two recent events have given me pause.
Some of you may have heard of prominent American pastor, Rick Warren. His son committed suicide last week.
And Margaret Thatcher died last week, too.
And for both there has been an outpouring of love…and hate.
Rick Warren wrote on Twitter: “Grieving is hard. Grieving as public figures, harder. Grieving while haters celebrate your pain, hardest. Your notes sustain us.”
How can people celebrate the pain of another human being?
I disagree strongly with Rick Warren on many, many issues but does that mean I celebrate the unimaginable pain he and his family are in right now?
I was a teen during Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister, and I must confess, was wholly uninterested in politics, so I am pretty ambivalent about her policies and time in office. However, people holding street parties to celebrate her death? When news of Thatcher’s death hit the media, we were watching Q and A, where guest panelist Brooke Magnanti’s first response to the news was “Oh and here’s me without champagne.”
I was disgusted. Regardless of our views on a person, the key word here is ‘person’. To actually celebrate that someone has died is surely the basest of all human reactions. Or, in Rick Warren’s case, celebrate the fact that someone you love has died and you are in pain.
Is this what we have become? People so blinded by our own opinions and viewpoint that we fail to see the humanity in another? People so caught up with making our point and judging others that we forget that all people have feelings? That we all bleed when cut, that we all are loved and love in return, regardless of our religious or political persuasions?
It comes down to lack of respect and narrow mindedness.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, until we truly understand and believe that every other single person on the planet has the same intrinsic value that we do, we will continue to be a society full of bigotry, hatred and intolerance.