Everybody has an angle, the world is full right now of people who seem to know everything. Of course, this is complete bollocks, but when you read certain comments as they flash through a cluttered social media feed, it sure feels as if these individuals are instant experts in all manner of topics, none of which they have any right to claim competence within.

I’m just as guilty as everybody else in this regard, and it is easy to assume the mantle of Online Hater when the mob rises, pitchforks and torches at the ready. Unless you are there at the event, directly affected by it or can command true journalistic levels of objectivity, it is probably best to stay quiet on contentious days. It’s a good way to lose friends otherwise. In the end, that will matter more than feeling part of major news headlines.

It’s when the blame games start that you wish people would think more and post less.


However, the value in listening a) to people you wouldn’t normally and b) allowing their opinions to exist is even more important now than it has ever been at any point in our collective existence, because like it or not, all of these opinions do matter and not just to one voice any more. That’s how the Internet’s allowed minorities to hold and command significant sway in certain areas.

This not a perfect world, of course. When you realise that potentially 8 out of 10 of the top Twitter accounts run by the Brexit party might be run by robots it is hard to work out who might be real or otherwise. Then it’s down to allowing your personal ethical compass a bit more free rein, thinking about the moral consequences of your unscheduled Twitter rant. It might make you feel better, but does it have any larger value?



What matters more in the current climate, I think, is empathy not anger. It also helps if you have a brain cell or two free from obsessing over the topic, with an ability to see past the overriding significance and importance of desires or needs. Everybody makes mistakes, of course, but don’t worry: the moment you do, a great many individuals will be happy to turn up and highlight what you did wrong.

We all have the ability to be enlightened teachers, after all. Who listens and who doesn’t is an important part of this new dialogue. If you want to affect significant change, honestly, you do need to start fights stimulate debate on train stations, and in leafy, affluent suburbs, plus all points in between. The answer is global enlightenment and a removal of many disparities in sex, affluence and opportunity. That’s still just as it was centuries ago. 

If we wish the change to begin with ourselves, it is time for education beyond our own lives. It’s also vital we grasp just how different that may be to the existence we currently inhabit.

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