The World Beyond Your Cage

Two of my favourite cartoonists posted strips on the same topic on the same day recently.

David Hayward had this to say about emotional cages. Nina Paley added her own twist:

around your mind

Both reminded me of an incident last week here in Toronto. A young squeegee kid and a middle-aged motorist allegedly got into a violent confrontation after the young man dripped dirty water onto to the older man’s vehicle. The motorist ended up with a nasty gash on his head. This article describes the incident in more detail. Fair warning for sensitive readers: the video embedded in it includes graphic photographs of the injury.

What I find most interesting in all of this is how much we assume that our responses to hypothetical situations are the only rational ones. People who are enraged by this incident seem to think we should fight off these encounters with as much force as is necessary to protect our families and possessions. Others point out how humiliating it must be to be constantly treated poorly by everyone else because you are homeless and urge compassion for the alleged assailant.

I don’t know what to think other than I suspect that our reactions to events that don’t personally affect us have a hell of a lot more to do with what is inside of us than what is going on in other people. Can this be changed? I don’t know. This isn’t even necessarily a bad thing. It is just what it is.

What do you think?


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