So there was this woman out trick or treating with a kid and she did something she very likely regrets.
If you haven’t seen the video, here’s the story. A family left a bunch of full-sized candy bars out for Halloween, and then recorded people taking them. Some people took one. Some took more. One woman cleared out the whole stash.
You know what has to happen next, right? The video goes on YouTube, and Facebook, and Twitter. People who see the video need to comment, not simply on the act, but on the woman’s character, on her appearance, on the way she is raising her children (it doesn’t matter if she was the mom, big sister, or babysitter…we’ll just make assumptions and plow ahead with our campaign to destroy this person.)
Someone of course will decide that we need to discover who this person is, and let the rest of us know (if that hasn’t happened already). And then we’ll need to know more details of this person’s life so we can continue our public destruction of her.
And don’t forget her kids…if she has them…just imagine the taunting they can take at school from the other kids. They’ll all get what they’ve got coming to them.
She should be fired from her job, shouldn’t she? Who can trust an employee who took a bunch of free candy bars?
Quick question, is anyone besides me glad that there were not hidden cameras around at certain moments in your life that were captured and then broadcast to the whole world? Anyone else glad that a tweet or Facebook post written out of anger was able to be deleted before it was seen by anyone, let alone allowed to be shared by countless people you’ve never met?
One of the things the internet has brought into our lives is an abundance of people who make us feel good about ourselves.
“Can you believe what this person thinks?”
“Can you believe what they said?”
“Can you believe what they did?”
“How can people be like that?”
Now I can label you…you are: racist, sexist, conservative, liberal, hateful, stupid, whatever. And since I’m in the process of making you a non-person, I may as well label you based on your weight, looks, style of clothes, inability to spell, or anything else that I don’t like about you.
The label doesn’t matter all that much, it is simply my way of letting you know I am better than you. Okay, it’s probably more about letting me know that I’m better than someone…That makes me feel good about myself. And here’s the great thing, I don’t even have to do anything. I don’t have to work to change the thing I say I care about…I don’t have to make any effort changing things…I just have to “think” better than you.
I know my little post about this won’t really make much difference. But as a follower of Jesus, the one who came to free us from shame, I do want to issue an invitation. An invitation to not participate. You really don’t need to click on that link. And if you do…why not take a moment and empathise. Imagine what that person and their family are enduring. That might actually lead you to pray for that person.
There is a world out there that is skilled at administering shame. As followers of Jesus, we get to join in his mission to set people free.