THE BLOG

Name and Shame?

25/04/2014 11:54 BST | Updated 24/06/2014 10:59 BST

What is my opinion but another angle in a collection of shapes of all sizes?

Is one opinion more accurate than another, really? Or is the most authentic and heart-felt opinion the truest and mightiest of all?

It becomes harder and less appealing to argue, or to attempt to be right, when you are beginning to see the world as an energetic pulse of light and movement, in a big unknown space called the universe. It can seem that you are empty headed or flighty, unless you are tied to a side, and have a well-constructed discourse to offer.

I reacted yesterday to a Twitter post where someone named and shamed a lady who had killed her kitten in a microwave. This disturbed woman's picture went up, just to show her face, and beneath the picture were many comments from naturally reactive, sickened people.

Most of them were toxic comments, spewing forth the venom they felt towards what they considered a monster of a woman.

I felt an urge to respond, stating that naming and shaming only amounted to more crap; which to me felt like a statement based on what I was witnessing in the melting pot of anger and shit that was being stirred, as a result of posting this woman's picture.

I got a fairly polite and curious response back by an individual who clearly agreed with the naming and shaming method, and couldn't quite understand my stance, so I attempted to gently explain my perspective, writing 'I am a cat lover, but disagree with jeering/vilifying for the sake of entertainment or feeling superior; tricky.'

This was met with an argument based on lack of legal comeback in such cases, and the dictative final statement that shaming was the 'only' way.

I suddenly felt that no matter what I say, some will not understand and that trying to force my point would be utterly point-less. There was no point trying to be right, in doing so I was merely becoming a part of the mess.

After I offered a diplomatic answer that could sway various ways, it was left at that. I was left to contemplate my own feelings on the subject and simply could not find a way of expressing myself so that people would listen and understand, let alone on a 140 character Twitter limit.

I am in no way condoning the behaviour of the woman, not in the least; it is important that people know the impact of their actions and come face to face with their own issues, it's also important for the public in some instances to know who they are dealing with, say in the instance of this woman one day applying to work in a caring role involving animals or children; this is what CRB checks are handy for.

I cannot help, however, feeling that posting a disturbed persons picture up for all to point and jeer at is just adding to the enormous cauldron of shame vomit that we are already swimming in.

To me it is the equivalent of fighting fire with fire. We as human beings already suffer the sickness of shame, day in, day out. We feel shame and guilt for things we have done, things we have not done, things others have done or not done; we are brought up this way in a culture of shame no matter where we are from or what we believe in.

It hasn't worked to deter sickened minds because shame is exactly where sickened minds have come from. In posting pictures of criminals and chanting our hatred mantras at them, we are merely reinforcing what they already think they know about themselves, probably since childhood; that they are worthless, and so they might as well take their anger and pain and twisted, shamed minds out on innocent beings. They are doing what we are doing but on a much larger and darker scale; making themselves feel more powerful.

I don't see how that is the 'only' way since we are fertilising the soil of shame further.

We feel righteous and justified when we stand and point our fingers, 'Ha look at her, isn't she disgusting, she should be hanged, he should be castrated, they should be shot.' We feel our bodies usually constricted in our own shame, suddenly release an inch with the relief of the fact there is someone out there worse than us, and we bury the truth of that with justifications and claims that sick minds should be met with sick measures. So who is sick really?

We all are. As I said we already are named and shamed in our own minds and we want to highlight others who are worse to get away from our own darkness, our own dis-ease.

It is hard to try other measures that offer less hatred, when we have so much poison pumping in our veins. We need to put that hatred somewhere don't we? Or it will continue to eat us alive from the inside out.

Hatred is fear. So in that knowledge, what if it could be transmuted over time by taking firm, tough love stances? If dark is the absence of light, what if we shone light on the grimiest, darkest, most disgusting acts and ripped open the cavities where these seeds fester?

If twisted acts come from a lack of love, of nurturing education, possibilities, inner strength and self-esteem- why are we not offering these things to children and youngsters by changing systems and creating a new generation of powerful and empathetic humans that can really create positive change? Why are we not offering the appropriate therapies, and learning opportunities in the lessons of both mental and emotional intelligence to those that have already been 'infected'?

Our culture is one of discarding; a society of convenience where if something isn't working right you throw it and buy a new one. If your head is hurting cover it up with a pill and hope it just goes away, curse it, hate it, vilify it and it will just disappear and deter another one, right?

I think not.

It is tough and uncomfortable, which is why most choose the easy options, and in the long run this creates more issues. When I let a headache run its course, not many have patience with me, and think I am being selfish by not covering it up.

I pray for a day when more people can see how tragic that is.

So am I right because I feel a fervent passion towards what I am feeling on this topic? Or are the 'name and shame' fans right because they have more of a structured and intelligent sounding argument? I believe it's not a question of right and wrong, but a matter of feeling our way, which we are mostly afraid to do. If an action or thought is coming from a place of pure anger and hatred, I would stand by the idea that it is destructive and counter-productive, and therefore other options should be explored.

I don't have a plan, only ideas, and I alone cannot make enormous, global or impactful change unless more join in and start to help change themselves first, and then others.