Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Current Events, "Mob Rules Mentality" and Attempting to Make Sense:Part 1

I’m going to start with two quotes:
  1.  “I only wish it was me who got the kill, the bounty was pretty sweet. Never have I been so glad at the news of a death.”
  2.  “…would appreciate that we get on with our lives, take the darn flag off the profile pic and put your dog or some embarrassing photo from years ago - let's just get back to the normal goofiness of FB.”
I said both of them, the first, early the morning that the world found out that Osama Bin Laden was killed and the second, far later in the day – after reading hundreds of posts related to the topic and noticing a mass of people changing their profile picture to the American Flag. The last two days have been highly emotional for many and so much has been said, felt, and thought. I think there’s been a bit of controversy, misunderstanding and some misperception. I have no intention to try and clear any of that up, I am not Dr. Phil and heck, I occasionally am at the center of controversy. I think in the end, rational people will come to terms with all that has been said and be able to understand what’s really been said and they will either agree or agree to disagree and be able to shake hands in the end and be civil.

Events of this magnitude do however increase the likelihood of where judgments and opinions which often lead to behaviors and actions, often harsh ones result simply because packs of people latch onto an idea or belief with no real rhyme or reason other than it is what everyone else is doing. In the very specific case of Osama Bin Laden’s execution, I don’t necessarily believe the mere action of “celebration” is wrong or the fact that large groups of people are “celebrating” the event is necessarily a result of this “mob rules mentality” as the events of 9/11 while nearly a decade old are as fresh in the hearts and minds of many as they were on that fateful day. New York City was my home and those towers were a significant part of the fabric of my home town. I have a photograph of the towers that I took myself less than two months before they were destroyed, I look at that photo every day and see the entire replay of events. A dear friend formerly in the NYFD retired after his 9/11 experience having lost almost all of his colleagues and suffered health and mental injuries that plague him to this day and will for the rest of his life. I heard a statistic that 20% of all Americans know someone who was involved or affected by the events of 9/11! For me, I understand the need to rejoice in the slaying of this beast who not only took all those lives that day, but so many more lives were lost over the last decade as a result of his reign of terror. I know it isn’t Christian to rejoice in the death of another human but I personally don’t consider Osama human and I don’t and will never believe him to be a child of God.

I do want to hit on some basic example of where I’ve seen the “mob rules mentality”, or at least where I’ve perceived this mentality to drive actions and/or behaviors. However, I want the beginning part of this to sit for a day because it’s a lot for me to process and I’ve been awake since 3:30am (its 8pm now) and I am exhausted and wish to at least attempt to remain coherent. Therefore, I will conclude this piece tomorrow…

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