As I sit in the glorious sunshine of the Gold Coast, on a day where I am supposed to be listening to a lecture but in stead, sit here listening to the lyrical genius that is Frank Ocean, I pose numerous philosophical queries: what universal power brought us to where we are? What universal power decided to create the liquid breakfast that is Up and Go's? And, most importantly, what godly creature invented the loveable, hazelnut-ty goodness that is Nutella?
Ironically though, this post fails to acknowledge those thoughts in a manner that spans further than simply re-enforcing the weirdness that is my brain. In stead, and more importantly, I question the human race... and the mindset that grants everyone their 'worthy' opinions in times that often initiates the questionable - yet dangerous borders - of morality. You see, as one studying both law and journalism, I find myself using different sides of my brain. Firstly, the one that looks at logic as a means to raise an argument. And, secondly, the one that more so regards the fallacious - yet often, overpowering - premises of emotion.
And, in a time where recent events like the accident that was Alex McKinnon's tackle, and now the death of Peaches Geldof give journalists and social-media 'gurus' alike, an apparent free ticket to speculate... I pose yet another thought that has circled around my head for what seems like months. What grants a person the ability to form any unsupported and often uneducated ticket - yes, not only the unfettered right of free-speach - to form opinions that could, in turn, prove damaging to ones own personal development, and self-worth?
If we rewind the clock and raise the two examples mentioned in the paragraph before, we see McKinnon who - a victim of a tragic ACCIDENT - has recently been in the media following the repercussions of that tackle. Borderline questionable, yes, but the element of intent hardly there to land someone in the scenario they are in today. The poor boy, somewhat like many I love and cherish in my life, has lost something more than a career - he's lost what seems like a way of life - football. You see, to many of our boys - and I say our because I know a lot of you reading this are in the same boat as me with a partner trying to fulfil the wish that blossoms in many young Australian boys- they lace up their boots and play a game with heart and soul. Some of you may not understand this; and this I saw a lot of in the media reports following. "Thugs," "Hurt-hungry," were a few labels that stemmed from Alex's injury. The game, tarnished. People failed to understand that sometimes things go wrong - be it in rugby league, touch footy, netball or soccer. Heck, I've even seen a friend hurt to a similar extent from a PE, non-contact game of golf. Things happen, and they can happen be it if you're in your BSC's with a pair of boots on the green or if you're driving to the fields. The game copped a lashing by these people that failed to understand the universe, and in stead had their lens darkened by something they proved oblivious too. Fast forwarding a little, and the announcement of his diagnosis was again something where people should have treaded lightly - but they didn't. It came, and in many ways insensitively. The effect this can have on ones mental state is ravishing, especially in a time of such crippling confidence. But then, what about those who were also affected: the three Melbourne defenders, McLean especially.
The emotional repercussions are often unthought of. And yes, although sometimes the thoughts of officials, or those involved in the game at similar levels, are warranted, those who fail to even watch a round a year, or those who seem to be 'do-gooders' who look down on any parent who doesn't wrap their child in cotton wool are the one's this is aimed at. Hurting people at the expense of your opinion, and might I ad, this in particular is for those that don't hold back in expressing theirs, is uncalled for. Especially when wording is the questionable component. Remember the old saying "think before your speak?" Modernise that, to "Think before you type/tweet/post."
And yes, at this point in time the circumstances of Peaches Geldof's death prove similar. Although this time around, the media is in many aspects not jumping to conclusions, the rumour mill is ripe. From Facebook and Twitter updates, to comments on the instagrams of artists, again celebrities are people too. How does tarnishing the name and reputation of one now on the other side make you in any way shape or form a better person? She has two young children, and a family very fragile from the events of the past... Have you thought of this? Although this may - in part - seem an attack on the barriers of free speech, be it a reminder of the repercussions of that "publish" or "post" button. Emotions are ripe in the modern times of today, and approaching things with a delicate hand can sometimes better your inner self more-so than the public post that may grant you likes for sympathy, or likes for outright stupidity. A rushed finish, yes. Though a quick an easy thing to throw a spanner in the works and call for a re-think. Something I understand can be nestled so deeply when we are working at the speed required in a time like today.
Take a step back, count your blessings, but also think. Sometimes, as we saw earlier, beautiful things can happen in the walls of your mind (nutella and up and go's are no exception). And, although our individual emotions might sometimes flare, there's beauty behind utilitarianism... we are a team, us of this world, and working to benefit the greatest number in many aspects, is something far more admirable.