Last night a friend called my attention to a video that has gone viral among the younger generations. It is of two teenage girls — one beating the pulp out of the other. Aloud we wondered together: why? Why does this happen? Why did someone stand by and video tape it? Why did it go viral? What has happened that we have become so immune to inflicting pain on others?
The day I dread every year is upon us. On this day, friends who I know love me take great pleasure in hurling unprovoked taunts, calling me a loser, an idiot, and inviting me to do heinous things with my body and inanimate objects, all in the name of…supporting their favorite college football team.
I am sure it happens on either side of the great divides of college football. And lest you think I don’t get the game, or the fun of a good rivalry, let me mention that my son plays college football: Go Battling Bishops!
Still, the nothing-is-off-limits manner of taunting to enjoy a rivalry, makes me wonder if we are overlooking an unintentional outcome: if someone can easily justify saying anything to an opposing team’s fan no matter how offensive, would that role-model likewise bless, let’s say, their six-year-old granddaughter doing the same thing to a classmate…and then justifying it by saying, “it’s all in good fun?”
Because if they can…she most certainly will.
When we begin blessing hatred, even in the name of sportsmanship, we commit to living what we have unleashed.