I recently came across the following complaint from a friend in the states, and due to its content, felt it should be made known to everyone. Especially in this day-in-age of social media, it could be seen as an argument of global proportions. Not that it can led to world war or some other craziness. But that it speaks volumes of how, as a species, we’ve more or less gone backwards, as opposed to moving forward and bettering ourselves.
Here’s something that’s been bothering me for the past couple months. It’s gotten to a point where it’s part of my decision making process on whether anything I do, no matter how innocuous, may be misconstrued by people in the wrong way and then things snowball from there. Maybe I’m being overly paranoid, but if you were in my situation and had my experiences, you’d feel the same way as well.
I’m talking about accusations.
(Note: I will not be persecuting or defending anyone here. This is just my thoughts and experience talking.)
We now live in a society where people are no longer given the benefit of doubt, or the due process of law when it comes to accusations of illicit or criminal behavior. Before you write out an essay, yes, I understand the concept of “If there’s smoke…” but that’s just it, smoke. No one has seen the fire. No one has proven a fire took place. For all you know, it could be steam, or fog, or clouds, or a many multiple of things that it could be. The point is no one waits for the facts or the truth of the matter. People hear things, and they run with it, whether it is true or not. And the worst thing about it is that it destroys people’s lives in the process.
Why is this such a painful topic for me to even discuss or bring up? Because I was involved in a wrongful accusation in the past, and my life was literally in danger every day, even after my name was cleared. I won’t discuss it further other than by saying that just on a false accusation made by one person, I nearly had people attempt to hurt/kill me based on those accusations. Needless to say, I fought it, won, and have left that area, because it didn’t matter to them that I was right and the other person was wrong. I was accused. No one is accused of anything they’ve never done. If there’s smoke, there’s fire. Sounds familiar?
I believe that actual victims should wholeheartedly come out and speak out against their aggressors, and I hope more do, but also remember that we are not a species that speaks the truth. There are some who would take advantage of others, and some do it simply for the thrill of it (aka trolls). This makes it very hard to determine if what is spoken is truth and that’s unfortunate, but just because someone has the finger pointed at them, doesn’t mean it’s true or correct. There are real dangers. Death threats, stalking, physical violence, etc. are all real things and really do happen.
So when you see news reports and people’s word of mouth just spreading information as though it was gospel truth, think that maybe, just maybe, not all of it is 100%, and even worse, it may be 0%. News organizations can make retractions and apologies, but the damage is done. Worse is when people do it, they don’t even bother, and worse, fan the flames.
Please keep any responses civil. I know my experience isn’t everyone else’s, so keep in mind that it’s my experience and your mileage may vary.
Thank you for reading.