Our Outraged Society

We seem to be living in a world where outrage rules. Outrage over something someone said, outrage about something someone did, outrage over someone’s beliefs—it never seems to end. Written outrage (check out Facebook sometime), verbal outrage. People on the streets shouting, thinking that somehow their anger will change the world. All I see it accomplishing is more anger.

A boy shouting into a microphone

Now, I have a theory. (My family used to groan when I said that, because it was usually a preamble to a well-thought-out but unorthodox idea, like why you should eat your dessert before dinner, but I digress.) My theory is this: somewhere along the line, our society decided that discussion of ideas, persuasion and debate was hard work. Moral outrage, accusations and sound bites were so much easier. They required less investigation, less information, less thought, and absolutely no communication skills.

We are supposed to be living in an enlightened age, but instead we seem to be devolving into a society of bullies

At the same time, someone has been pushing the idea that manners are outdated and only apply to our friends and it is just this type of thinking that justifies cruelty towards others. We are supposed to be living in an enlightened age, but instead seem to be devolving into a society of bullies who, ironically, pride themselves on being “tolerant”— but only of what they deem fit to tolerate.

I’ve been a Scientologist for over 40 years and, frankly, I find it dismaying that, after all the good we have done, there are still prejudiced people who think it’s ok to treat us like second-class citizens.

Everyone in society deserves to be treated with respect, no matter their religion, race, gender, sexuality, beliefs, politics, or anything else. So quit fuming about social injustices if you can’t even put the most basic ideas about tolerance into practice. Your outrage changes nothing. But reaching out to others—even those whose ideas are different than yours—changes everything.

Deanne Macdonald
Business consultant and student of life.