Stop doing dumb things
Posted June 9, 2015on:
My head hurts from reading the online vitriol in the aftermath of the Sabah earthquake.
Lives were lost in Mt Kinabalu. That so many were young and from one primary school leaves me at a loss for words. I am as dumbfounded as I was 21 years ago when I shook the hand of a man whose wife I could not help save.
What can you say to a parent who has just lost a child?
I am thankful that our leaders and people on the ground have managed the crisis respectfully and professionally. Before the rabid press jumped on loose leads, parents were flown in and asked to identify their children, and then only was information released.
But there were other distractors and many idiotic responses.
Distractions like the climbers who allegedly took off their clothes on the mountain prior to the earthquake and penalties for the offenders by way of buffalo heads. As ridiculous as most people might find these events, they are just distractions. They offer no help, but they also do little harm.
Contrast that with the idiots who rely on fear and ignorance to spread even more fear and ignorance. The link I tweeted above will provide a small but concentrated sample. If you do not have the time, process this one critically and immediately read this one based on reason.
The armchair critics seek to blame the education minister, the school authorities, the teachers, the parents for allowing such trips to happen, ad nauseum. They refuse to see this as an accident over which we had little or no control.
To these trolls I say: Stop doing dumb things (inspired by this tweet).
To be clear, the dumb things are not the trips or expeditions. It takes a lot of planning, preparation, risk mitigation, and all round effort to ensure that these are meaningful events.
I am referring to critics who have other agendas and take potshots from the comfort of their armchairs or toilet seats. These trolls remind me of rocking chairs: Lots of motion but going nowhere.
If anything, the online aftermath is a perfect example of why teachers and parents need to model digital citizenship for kids (and hopefully soon, just citizenship because what is digital and analogue are not so clear anymore). And while we are at it, let us not use “cyberwellness” because that is an oxymoron.
The dumb and wrong thing to stop is playing the blame game. Nobody wins because there is no one really to blame. Instead we might learn from this tragic event just like the kiwis did from a canyoning accident in 2008.
We must learn from it. We owe at least that much to those who gave their lives.