Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lost Opportunity

Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within. Stephen Jay Gould.

Recently, just yesterday in fact, THE cyber-bully on ClubTread was temporarily banned from the site for the second time in as many months. Any frequent, or even casual visitor to the site will know immediately who was banned and for what.

There has been much discussion about banning this person permanently from the site, with some people coming out strongly in favor (myself included) and others opposed. As far as I can make out, the opposition argument hinges on three things: (a) freedom of speech; (b) using the ignore button to just ignore this individual's postings; and (c) a belief that, on occasion, the individual makes some useful comments.

The pro-banning argument relies on the idea that we don't need to read extreme profanity in every post, insulting individuals simply because they disagree with you is childish and offensive, and, finally, but most importantly, that one individuals freedom of speech robs many other people of theirs.

Unfortunately, the lost opportunity for other individuals to express their opinions or report their achievements is immeasurable. We will never know what great trips we might have seen reported on, or what new ideas we might have heard had people not been too frightened to post for fear of retribution.

I could almost feel sorry for the individual in question as it just cannot be any fun living inside a head that is filled with anger, resentment, and self-loathing. But, taking away opportunity from other people for no other reason than that you can, makes such sympathy difficult.

To quote Stephen Jay Gould yet again, "we pass through this world but once." Why not make that a positive experience for people around you rather than a negative one?

 Volunteering is a good way to contribute

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