How often do we just sit back and watch things occur without speaking up? Whether that is in the form of allowing verbal bullying to occur or mentally removing oneself from a situation but physically being present. That does not justify a sense of innocence.
Laughter at actions that cause harm to others makes us just as guilty as an individual committing those particular acts.
How is it that we are suffering from a national epidemic of bystander effect. We linger in cognitive dissonance to ensure that we are good people and that as long as we do not partake in the actions we are not guilty.
I realized early on that we are accountable for our actions as well as words and even our silence speaks volumes.
Often we hear, that was none of our business; I had no idea what that person or people meant by their actions.
Three days ago, I read an article that President Trump, while on a campaign rally, laughed with the crowd as individuals spoke of shooting Mexicans. At this moment in time in our society, actions and words that further exhibit these behaviors come as no surprise. I ponder on how many individuals in that auditorium did not find those projected actions to be funny, however, they sat in silence or laughed along to feel like they were a part of the team.
Just as helplessness is learned, so is being silent.
Most scholars will agree that group thinking and the bystander effect cause harm; most often individuals go along with it to feel accepted.
I wonder how our society would look if we had more individuals who spoke up before actions occurred. How long will we expect and accept being a bystander in silence –– no matter what. Politicians, religious leaders, educators and community leaders are not responsible for us being silent as we continue to harm each other with actions and words as others watch in silence.
Remember, in silence we are as guilty as those who are committing actions and spewing hate through words. Silence is the true murderer of humanity.
Food for thought, keeping it real.