Two parts to today’s post. In the first I actually have something good to say about social media. In the second I ask you if you think the means justify the end in a recent event in our town.
In earlier posts I have often commented negatively on social media.
One major problem I have with them are their uses as platforms to persecute any one expressing an opinion that is out of line with the multitude of politically correct and generally liberal, users who believe freedom of expression only applies to them and those sharing their views.
Others are the distraction potential of social media and the effect on productivity, serious reading, writing and “real” conversation.
Now for one of the benefits.
Last week’s post would not have been written or published without social media.
Without the Internet, Google + and twitter, I would not have made contact with the author Cait Lynch.
Our paths crossed about two years ago when we both subscribed to a series of online tips for personal and business growth by Chris Brogan of Owner Media. The subscription included access to a closed Google + group and the many interesting discussions that group members started.
With our shared interests in horses and publishing our first books, we have remained in touch and I was happy to publish Cait’s guest post last week. I have also bought her book, Nourish, and am finding it interesting and enlightening. It’s an easy to follow system to get fit, stay healthy and lose weight if necessary.
Here’s the question.
Do the means justify the ends?
Last week, a large number of High School students in our town walked out of class to draw attention to the high suicide rate among young people.
It’s an admirable cause. The suicide of one young person is a tragedy, five in five months in a small town an indication that there is a serious problem.
Does the concern over the suicides justify a mass walk out from school?
I have no difficulty with students taking action to shine a spotlight on a problem they believe needs attention. I have no problem with students holding a rally in a library parking area; after school hours – as long as it does not inconvenience other residents or businesses.
Where I have a problem is the attitude of the public, school authorities and the media to students walking out of class.
Reactions to the walk out have ranged from those that condone it, those that support it, to those that congratulate the students for taking action by walking out of class.
There has been absolutely no mention to my knowledge, of any disciplinary action for abandoning their classrooms.
Few people I have spoken to can separate the cause and the activity. Most take the view that the end does justify the means. Because it’s an important cause, we should overlook the breaking of the rules, walking out of class.
That attitude, in my humble opinion is one of the reasons we have a problem in society today and perhaps a contributing factor in the high rate of suicide by young people.
No consequences for breaking the rules.
An environment without consequences does not prepare young people for the periods of adversity and difficult times they will almost certainly face at some point in their lives.
We all have to accept situations in life that we don’t like. We are free to deal with them however we want, but if we choose to break the law or ignore the rules, we must be prepared to accept the consequences.
It goes without saying that this behaviour in my school days would have had very serious consequences. However, even in my sons’ generation’s school days, a mass walk out would have resulted in a mass caning and probable expulsion for the ring leaders. Not celebration and media interviews.
As liberal commentators are quick to point out when referring to allegations of the torture of terrorists to obtain information that could save hundreds of lives, the end does not always justify the means.
How will those who condone this walk out react to one for a minor complaint?
image courtesy of domdeen / freedigitalphotos.net