Stop

Please just stop.
Stop and think.
Think about this:

Your words, written and shared and read and liked and propagated ad infinitum on a social networking website are just that—they are words.

You read and regurgitate what you read but do you comprehend? Do you understand? Do you let the meaning of what you have read be completely and utterly absorbed?

The notions of herd mentality and social coercion are very alive on the internet and Facebook is their prime real estate.

The internet is our medium, it is our society’s agora/piazza/plaza/forum where we can meet and where we can communicate in an effective manner in order to share ideas and better foster virtuous endeavors as the Greeks, Romans, French, Spanish and Italians did before us. The internet is not evil—its idea is a noble one. It is our responsibility to ensure that it is safe and our duty to denounce those behaviors that seek to destroy its nobility.

When bad things happen to good people—a tragedy, a travesty, a disaster—the first thing I think is “that’s life my friend” (c’est la vie mon ami). When a person does a bad thing to good people, they are automatically labeled, branded ‘villain’ and ostracized. This is not inherently a form of bad social interaction, although it is in our instinctual behavior to separate the weak from the strong and cull the undesirables from the herd. Like most social behaviors, however, we over emphasize the import of particular actions and misbehaviors in our world. Ask yourself, why do I care more about this action and not another most similar? Analyze your answer and realize that you yourself are a member of a herd. You are a part of society and will never be apart from it. As such, you have a moral obligation to your fellow citizens (herd members if you will). As humans, we are all part of humanity. Let us not lose that humanity, let not the herdsman guide our herd through media coercion for his agenda because I promise you that agenda is far from a virtuous one.

Ask yourself before you speak or write or post or tweet or blog or call or scream or shout or utter anything aloud above the whimper of a crying mother: What does the world really need me to do? What can I say to make this better? What can I state to help foster good will towards my fellow man?

Let us be like unto a herd, unto a storm, a tempest of arduous, virtuous endeavor! Let the passion of these events (however so tragic we deem them) that now fuels us and motivates us and stirs within our very souls the sameness, the connectedness and oneness of all humankind, ignite within our beings the ashes and kindles of the great fire of our love for one another and bring about a momentous change in our world, our environment, our lives, our society, and our internet. I implore you, be better men. Be the change the world needs, not more of the same. If every artist painted with the same brush, or played the same instrument, all art would have less scope and would be limited in its grandeur and enlightening capacity…let us not rose-tint the internet or the world.

Remember this if nothing else I have writ:

“Our laws are here to protect us not enslave us, our government here to serve us not us serve them, our deeds here to prove our virtue not worth, and our words should be here to make us better men, not worse.”