If you were to ask me today if I felt that most people were inherently good, I’d quickly reply, “yes, I believe they are.” I say this knowing full well the breadth and depth of evil humans can generate. This world presents plenty of it everyday. Nevertheless, despite our failings, I still live my life hoping I’ll see the best in people. I always will and that will never change.
It’s in us to aspire as individuals. To want to achieve and be greater than we are right now. But, despite our best intentions to be good to one another, inside each of us lies a bedrock of features that cater to our most destructive impulses. Boredom, indifference, apathy, lust and deviance lie as core tenants of our most shameful attributes. Each taps into our moral code and each tests what type of person we are and aim to be.
How many times have you heard or even said the phrase, “oh boy, if the world knew the things I’ve searched on my computer.”
I’m sure it’s a lot.
The internet, with its endless possibilities indulges our own worst impules. It gives us freedom to explore and act on things we know we should not do. The battle lies not with what exists, but how we decide to live. What we let in. Giving life to destruction leads our own best intentions down a path of moral failings.
From The New York Times:
A 16-year-old girl in Perth, Australia, a good student and popular in school, took a naked photo of herself while standing in front of a bathroom mirror. She sent it via Snapchat, so that it would automatically disappear in seconds, to her 17-year-old boyfriend, with the words: “I love you. I trust you.”
The boyfriend took a screenshot before it disappeared and shared it with five of his friends. They in turn shared it with 47 of their friends. Within a few days, more than 200 people in the school had a copy. Someone uploaded it to a porn site, naming the girl and her school; over three months, with the help of online searches directing people to the site, the photo was downloaded 7,000 times. The family moved to a different city, but students there found the image as well, so the family fled to a different state in Australia.
Paul Litherland, a former Australian police officer who worked on the case, told me that the photo was posted on porn websites all over the world, so the girl felt she could never escape. She refused to attend school. She self-medicated with drugs. And then, at the age of 21, she took her life.
This excerpt comes from an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof. It’s titled, Why Do We Let Corporations Profit From Rape Videos?
Her boyfriend’s indifference towards her wishes, privacy and respect led him to do an awful thing.
His friends deviance led them to forward it amongst their peers.
The collective apathy of others for her well being gave them the freedom to not care.
Our own lust prompts us to search for content we’d be ashamed to admit.
Watching porn isn’t a bad thing. But what we type in should not be at the mercy of how naughty our brains can go. If we let our own worst impulses take over, morally all we’ve done is raced to the bottom. It may seem all fine and dandy in your own little world, and for the most part, it probably is. Until you read the excerpt above, then it isn’t and that’s the worst outcome we should ever want.