Saturday, April 25, 2015

Cruelty to people

Whenever there is a case of cruelty to animals, the least people do is frown about it. Yet more and more often it is cause for an uprising. The perpetrators, when caught, are in for punishment which can range from ‘a slap on the wrist’ (something the public has a tendency to frown upon, again), a fine, and in some cases an increasingly severe sentence.
It has become clear that when a person is cruel to animals, there is often a bigger problem which may or may not be apparent at that time.

In other words, when there is a matter of cruelty to animals, we pay attention!

But what about when there is a case of cruelty to people?
And I am not talking about war-zones. I am talking about bullying ~ at school or elsewhere ~ or about nagging or ‘teasing’ someone who is vulnerable, and perhaps unable to defend themselves. In those cases we have a tendency to look the other way. To have an attitude that ‘they have to learn to stand up for themselves’.

It makes me wonder…
If cruelty to animals is found to often be the symptom of a deeper, more serious problem; how does that not apply to cruelty to people?

At what point does teasing become violent ~ physical, mental or emotional? At what point does bullying switch from cruelty to one person to cruelty to humanity?

Is a captain who is loading his boat with human cargo, well beyond the capacity of his ship ~ making huge amounts of money in the process ~ helping those people out? Is he just plain greedy? Or is he guilty of committing the crime of ‘cruelty to humanity’? Especially when there is an accident at sea and his ‘cargo’ is lost…

Is a pharmaceutical company pushing for a new and expensive medication to be approved to be prescribed to those that suffer from an illness, and doing so knowing that they have somewhere along the way ‘tweaked’ the test results, making them more favorable; are they helping sick people? Or are they just plain greedy? Or are they committing the crime of ‘cruelty to humanity’?

And perhaps the most important question is; are we going to continue to look the other way? Are we going to stick to our opinions that ‘they should have learned to stand up for themselves’? Or ‘they should have known better’?
Are we going to keep laying the blame on the ~ often already vulnerable ~ victims of those ‘mishaps’?

Or are we going to begin to hold ourselves and others to a higher standard. Are we adapting a ‘code of conduct’ that is compassionate; that permits each of us to live our lives to the fullest according to our unique capabilities ~ humans and animals alike?

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