Mistreatment of others has come to the forefront of national news, such as the stories about Richie Incognito and the suicide of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers.
More recently, it has been reported that teenagers in Jersey City, N.J., play a game called “Knockout” in which friends dare friends to sucker punch passersby, according to a CBS News.
The blatant disrespect people show others is astounding and needs to stop. All of our actions have a direct impact on other people’s lives. Incognito’s constant and unnecessary “jokes” at the expense of his teammate Jonathan Martin drove him to leave the team.
Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi and friend Molly Wei set up a webcam to broadcast an intimate moment for Clementi, which led to the 18-year-old Rutgers student to take his life.
It’s obvious how the kids playing “Knockout” are affecting other people.
In a less extreme example: Over the weekend SUNY Cortland’s football team defeated rival Ithaca College for the fourth straight year. Student celebrated by flooding the streets, forcing several law enforcement agencies to step in. Some of the students posted pictures of students doing absurd things that will forever remain on @SUNYPartyStory.
Everything we do, say, post or take a picture or video of can bring drastic consequences to another person, and yet some people continue to make jokes out of these situations.
One person’s trouble should never bring another person’s pleasure.
Instead of grabbing your phone to snap a quick picture for a cheap laugh at someone’s expense, stop and think about your behavior and how it might affect others.
Some will continue to laugh because behavior does not change overnight. However, we must continue to reinforce the notion that hurting others is wrong.
Ultimately it comes down to how we treat one another. There is a clear line between what is funny and what is harmful.