See What I Mean?

I unfortunately must follow-up on yesterday's post with some incredibly sad news. Frank Meza appears to have taken his own life yesterday.

These insatiable internet mobs are absolutely poisonous. Just because a person cheats in a game or a road race, that does not make him a despicable person. I reiterate that by all accounts, Frank Meza was a beloved member of his community. There was much more to his 70 years of life than his road racing career as a senior citizen.

The lesson to be learned from this is: Be gentle and merciful when you choose to criticize others. Don't gloat. Don't revel in someone else's disgrace. Don't partake in schadenfreude. Don't participate in a mob.

When you see a crowd turn against someone, exercise extreme caution. The power of mobs, mob mentality, and groupthink is awesome and terrifying. In those situations, go out of your way to look for reasons to doubt the crowd. When there can be no doubt, go out of your way to look for reasons to be kind, forgiving, understanding, and merciful.

Wrongdoing is unavoidable in life. The best thing that can happen to wrongdoers is that they find a way back to ethical behavior with dignity and humility. As onlookers, we owe it to people like Dr. Meza to offer an ideological path back to society's good graces. We ought not seek to condemn, revile, and exile people. We ought to look for ways to bring people together, even people who do the wrong thing at road races.

Because if we don't, then terrible things happen. How many of the gloaters will invest more than 30 seconds of their lives in hindsight, considering what they may have contributed to Dr. Meza's end? Too few. It's sad.

Remember this.

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