Just have to get this off my chest. The past year has been one that has seen constant controversy, scandal, and society’s rush to condemn those who are at the center of it all. Whether it be Ray Rice and the video that rocked the NFL or Adrian Peterson being disciplined for his style of discipline, it has seemed nonstop. In the case of Ray Rice, everyone from every co-worker at the water cooler to every public figure had a stance. As public outcry grew louder, more and more of the powers that be sought to enforce penalties to appease the marauding masses. Baltimore (Ravens) did a 360 and outright released Ray after pledging their allegiance. The knee jerk reactions by the NFL have been all too well documented. All because the public demanded these wrongs be punished.
Adrian Peterson was also a vehemently heralded failure of a public figure who must be sacrificed on the altar of the court of public opinion. After a grand jury said there wasn’t enough evidence once, when this story hit, he became public enemy number two(The Ray Rice story was still on going).
Now we have the not so surprising episode of the Patriot’s being caught cheating, again! Albeit skirting ball regulation rules doesn’t warrant the sports equivalent of the death penalty, cheating is cheating. If it is altering balls or hacking the other team’s Surface, it is still cheating. I witnessed ESPN have marathon coverage of this story when there was really no “new” developments, even FOX NEWS, CNN, and MSNBC railed all day on Deflategate. The American public is outraged that the public figures, who are supposed to be our hero’s, would stoop to such putrid behaviors! How dare they betray our trust!
Hence, the title. The revelation in all of this is that we are not righting wrongs that are going to change the course of our society, as some of the most opinionated of us would have you believe. We are simply screaming at the reflection we see in the mirror because we hate the way it (or we as a society) look. Whether it be Hollywood, Wall Street, Washington, DC, or sports, the public figures that reside there live in a microcosm of society at large. The difference is that their symptoms of societal dysfunction is magnified by the by the microscope of the public eye and the presence of the best growth media for dysfunction; money, power, and entitlement to be free from persecution.
In this Petri dish, the same problems that plague every community in this country are grown. By no means is abuse, violence, infidelity, or all manner of unethical behaviors absent from the very neighborhood you live in or business you work in. Still when these things, which appear so ugly in the mirror , stare back at us we don’t see them as cause for self-improvement. Instead, we just use them as another reason to blame someone else as if the mirror lies.
When such failings are seen, let us realize that those people came from the same broken society at large that we live in. The influences that shaped their behaviors affect us all. These public figures are not the problem in our society, they are a product of it. Stop screaming at the mirror! Rather let us try to change the person being reflected. Let us not blame society or the mirror, but let each of us try to be a better part of the society. Otherwise we will not only be screaming at our reflection, but we would also be putting makeup on the mirror hoping it would change who we are. Imagine the disappointment when we once gain return to find that our reflection is as horrid as it has ever been and nothing we did caused any lasting change.