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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Barry Clifford: Disgusting, Immoral, Shocking And Outrageous.....

I have often wondered does the words shocking, immoral, disgusting, and outrageous really have any true meaning. Are these words just expressions to say that we are above certain behaviour or is that it is just shy of the truth of something else?

What brings these words to mind are the actions that generally cause their usage in the first place. Are we really surprised, I mean really, at actions like bankers ripping people off, at clergy abusing children, at politicians lying on a daily basic. Are we really surprised at married middle-aged men taking younger lovers, coming out of the closet, or whatever other skeletons that tumble out with it, or at killers, rapists and more. The reality is that human expectations overshadow these words and are the only reason of why we clamour for them to express what we feel. But is it a feeling of just denial?

I asked several people once if a lion attacked a girl and ripped her to shreds, was this worse than if a man put a gun to her head and blew her brains out with one shot which she never saw coming. After detailing this fictitious scenario, everyone bar none said that been attacked by the lion was the worse scenario. They had never stopped to thing that been shot was a very quick and less painful option rather than being ripped to shreds and eaten, perhaps alive, by the lion. What had clouded their judgement was the expectation of better behaviour from the man while again dismissing the intent of what the lion did, which was altogether classed as more natural, out of hand. One thing they all agreed at one time or another was that the actions of the man was outrageous, shocking, disgusting, and murderous. At least the lion was spared these terms and was treated more kindly. This left a conundrum of sorts.

It is just that if we are prepared to accept the actions of what we deem to be ‘wrong’ as more of what is the reality out there, then are we not more prepared for them when they do happen?  Is it not better to presume strangers are untrustworthy until they prove otherwise rather that the reverse when it would be too late. Less broken hearts too. The actions of Hitler are in a historical context is not really surprising but only shocking because the amount of dead bodies left in his wake, and that was only due to the killing technology available then which is still growing unabated. A poacher, standing in front of the last wilderbeast on earth will kill it because he is hungry; the outrage is left for the better fed.

Many people do acts  that the marjority of us would never even dream of doing, but accepting that they do these things will lesson our shock, which is only part of our not accepting it, which will also help hasten our resolve to dealt with the aftemath and the ability to heal quicker.


By Barry Clifford