Finding Kindness

In the light of recent events, namely the suicide of TV presenter Caroline Flack, I feel compelled to write a blogpost and voice my sadness but also anger at the current state of society, which shoots from sensationalism to hypocrisy and back to sensationalism quicker than a rocket out from its launch pad. I am not claiming to be a huge fan of Miss Flack, following her on social media or religiously watching the shows she presented, although I joyfully cheered her on when she took part in and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014. What I do know is that reading the tributes of those who did know her and worked with her paint a picture that fills my heart with great sadness, not just for her, her family, but everyone who ever lost someone due to similar circumstances. People describe her, amongst other loving words as “kind to a fault” and a “wonderful soul”. The press surmises that the recent allegations against her and the huge pressure because of it are the cause of her suicide, also pointing to lack of support from the Love Island Team. I am not interested in the finer details, but what I do know is that the same press that now revels in the tragic loss of a successful public figure only a day before made fun of her and, over the past few weeks, used her as a puppet to post whatever they wanted about her. Of course, it is easy to blame the likes of the “Daily Snail” and the personally much despised “The Sun” for all of this, but the fault lies as much with those who buy such papers and therefore endorse this culture of fake news and fabricating stories. This then filters into real life situations, where people use social media platforms to lay into others or even think that it is ok to humiliate and ruin others’ lives with nastiness at work or in social situations. People are very quick to jump onto the first story they hear, without questioning it or considering all the circumstances, let alone let the other side have their say, and then start a witch hunt, gleefully tearing into the individual and destroying whatever strength they had left in them. Kindness, understanding and consideration are fast becoming rarities in our society where, so I believe, anxiety and depression are the byproduct of this lack of basic human skills. Lies, half truths or unkind remarks can have incredibly damaging effects on a person, and, having been on the receiving end of such pointless nastiness a few times, can make anyone question everything and catapult you to very dark places. Why anyone would ever think they have the right to attack someone else in the most viscious way is beyond me, but then I am also flabbergasted by liars, backstabbers and narcissists. In addition to this, societies’ inability to empathize with one another, spouting unhelpful comments such as “man up”, “woman up”, “pull yourself together”, “you brought it on yourself” or “it could be much worse” are an endemic spreading quicker than the common cold. Listen, it can always be worse. But if your mum/dad/best friend/dog/etc died and I told you: “Ah, well, it could be worse!”, I wouldn’t hold it against you if you cancelled our friendship! My personal motto is: If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. A useful phrase which some people should take to heart. And maybe, if they had had that mentality before, Caroline Flack and all the other victims of such trolling and systematic bullying would still be alive.