I'm not a religious person, but after four years living in Northern Ireland, and my Mother's newfound obligation to attend church weekly, I have an insight into how being a Christian is supposed to work. I also remember those religious school assemblies, and attended lunchtime Scripture Union as I didn't have any friends (and we got to sing cute songs about flags flying high from the castle of our hearts).
I enjoyed bible stories, they were great stories, always with a great punchline that was intended to guide us on the right path in life. I do honestly believe that they formed a large part of my moral education. The four main phrases engraved on my brain (and if I was so inclined would possibly choose to have tattooed along my arms) are:
Judge not lest ye be judged (that's my favourite).
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (rarely works this one).
Cast your bread upon the water and it will return as a sandwich (hope it's not a Subway sandwich, I don't know what that is that they try to pass off as bread).
How you live your life on earth determines the size of your crib in Heaven (paraphrased poorly perhaps).
I am sharing this with you to let you know, based on the way I was brought up, how shocked I am when I read some of the things that anonymity allows people to write on social media. And I truly wonder what kind of world we are living in, and the kind of world we would be living in if these people behaved like this in everyday life.
Today I read about the Clooney foundation funding the education of around 3000 Syrian refugees. The headline made it sound like George Clooney and his wife were doing this personally. Those who didn't make the effort to read the full article then jumped on the bandwagon and the venom began to spew.
"...a great way to reduce your tax liability..."
"...great PR for them...."
So, in real life, there I am helping someone across the road, or carrying someone's shopping for them (nothing as exciting or high profile as the Clooney foundation) and I get yelled at:
"Look at her, she's only doing it to get that staircase fitted in her mansion in Heaven..."
"Blimey, doesn't she think she's had enough sandwiches the fat cow!"
Celebrity bashing appears to be a popular pastime on social media. People who live and love to hate those more successful, better looking and wealthier than themselves. Celebrity Big Brother started last night, a programme I've only really caught glimpses of over the years. I was home alone and still haven't located the remote control after my house move, so I left it on Channel 5 (Not sure at what point it got stuck on Channel 5, probably another occasion I felt like watching something intellectually unchallenging). Today social media was alive and kicking with insults, condemnation and personal attacks on the "call themselves f****in celebs"; words like 'trashy', 'evil', 'bitch' all crawled out of the woodwork.
So, as a voyeur, in a new social setting, the pub for example, amongst people you have never met, and do not know, is this how people are judged? Can you imagine, if every day these keyboard warriors were let loose on the general public. Judging, condemning, insulting, racist, homophobic, critical, unkind, body shaming, parent shaming, prejudiced, bigoted COWARDS.
Wow! I'm glad I got THAT off my chest. My big, wobbly, saggy chest, the result of 50 years on this planet, yoyo dieting, and 12 months of breastfeeding. Fortunately I haven't exposed any part of my boobs on social media so don't really need to defend them quite so vehemently. I will leave you with this thought; Judge not Lest Ye Be Judged, should be everyone's mantra. It could change the world. #judgenotlestyebejudged