Monday 28 March 2022

Thought Picnic: And we all were not Will Smith at the Oscars

We all have opinions

I have read with interest the many fanciful and interesting ideas and notions of people who with the benefit of hindsight and the ample opportunity for reflection would have done something differently well away from the heat of the moment when presented with circumstances that demand immediate response for which limited restraint is possible.

It reminds me of many football fans who with the benefit of panoramic views of a stadium and sight of literally all angles come to the conclusion that a footballer who has through dint of hard work and recognition of coach and peers has earned their place by virtue of talent and ability to be in that team. We forget that the person is limited to their span of vision in that setting trying to assess and respond to situations happening to and around them to find advantage for themselves and the team whilst seeking to disadvantage the opposing players and still contribute to winning the match.

Rarely the real perspective

If a footballer had the range of vision of television camera or a spectator with the kind of full anticipation of the pace and the direction of the game, we probably would be watching a different kind of football. If anything, it shows how penalty kick deciders are more than just being able to kick a ball into the net at close range, the tension, the expectation, the anticipation, and most evidently luck plays increasingly important parts in a goal being scored or the ball being saved.

A recently globally televised altercation of a rather insensitive joke made in ribaldry, to shock and amuse was met with a necessary whilst unfortunate rebuke in defence of a spouse whose partner might have been urged by her apparent discomfiture to act quite decisively to put an end to such levity. You can make jokes of anything, and yet, courtesy demands that some courtesy, sensitivity, and understanding be paid to difficult situations or unfortunate infirmities, you do not have to disgusting.

That we blab from our armchairs

To make jokes at the expense of race, disability, or sexuality would be so readily frowned upon and excoriated with the heaping of opprobrium on the joker. That we would readily accept a joke at the expense of a person who has lost a particular expression of their personality and beauty due to a condition that cannot be arrested and managed is to lose a certain sense of perspective.

Now, this is not an excuse for violent retribution, but we should be careful that we do not from our suitable armchairs of comfort be so conveniently positioned for unencumbered postulation, ruling the world on our ample backsides with opinions of idealistic but usually impossible to live realities. How we all would have acted with wit, restraint and the wherewithal to cool our tempers in the heat of the moment, as we are the epitome of the best manners and perfection. You never have to walk a long hard mile in anyone's shoes when you're sitting down.

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