OK, Hal has been watching videos on Facebook again. Someone unplug his modem before he turns into one of those people who is always linking to clips of baby goats and puppies. Anyway, this one was of a driver and would-be Sonic customer who seemed to have confused the concepts of drive-in and drive-thru. The car kept nudging forward and backward around the spots, banging into this and that, clearly getting more and more frustrated and doing more and damage to the car’s paint job.
The person on the other side of the smart phone clearly thought it was all pretty hilarious. And I suppose it was. If he had recorded himself walking up to the driver and explaining the proper technique required, it would not have been nearly as amusing. And the driver would have been embarrassed in the short term, but extremely grateful for the life lesson in the long term. Perhaps we would all be better off if we looked for opportunities to serve our fellow man in his misery rather than exploiting that misery for our own selfish ends. Just saying.
There is a real danger in the internet age of using our fellow humans as a source of our own personal amusement. Total strangers humiliating themselves provides ample fodder for entertainment, and we run virtually no risk of being held accountable for our insensitivity and cruelty. And that’s what it is, by the way — call it what you like.
If someone wants to laugh at themselves along with us and maybe win some money on America’s Funniest Home Videos, that’s their business. But I like to assume that people object to being humiliated until I am given reason to believe otherwise. And if I wouldn’t want to be someone’s laughingstock, the “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12) requires at least that I think twice before I make someone else mine.