For every action there is a reaction they say. How we react to that action can be telling on our interface with the world around us.
Social media, as it is today, offer immediate responses to questionable statements or ‘actions’ that in retrospect seem unsuited for even consideration, but like being pitched a fastball, we swing.
On the bigger picture of how we react to each other on a daily basis, I ponder how we react to each other in social situations.
Some of them, like parties and social occasions, have certain formal requirements to follow to get along with others and satisfy our host expectations of a good time. We play nice with others, usually for the open bar.
Working situations require respect of those in commanding positions no matter our thoughts of their competence for they pay our salaries and we must obey. We cow down for the security of keeping our jobs and are silent when total foolishness starts for our own self-preservation.
Yet I wonder, if any one of us stood up in a boardroom and slammed his or her fist on the desk, what would everyone else do?
Some I feel would sit quiet in amazement waiting for the person in the position of power to tell the rest what to do. Some would back away at a divisive action recoiling in wonder and fear. Some might stand up and start to shout back in an alpha reaction of assertiveness.
The same thought is to a disaster. It doesn’t have to be a major disaster, it may just be a traffic accident or a shooting or a family squabble that gets out of hand.
From what I have witnessed there are those who come to look but do not get involved. There are those who flee and don’t want to see or think about it.
Luckily for you and me there are those few caring folks who do get involved to calm the havoc and find the resources to handle whatever bad situation confronts us. For those few who have volunteered to be trained to deal with things most of us don’t want to even comprehend, we are saved.
The same seems true for the trolling and awkward (I’m being kind here) statements posted on the Internet. Are we so emboldened to poke the bear every time until it fights back? Do we need to feel sheltered in our anonymous to say the things we wish we couldn’t?
A brief encounter or a long-term commitment has those moments when words are said that cannot be taken back. No amounts of flowers or apologies can remove the scare.
Our reactions to actions are what make us special. For at that brief moment, we might just let the barriers down and say what we really feel?