Opinion Piece: Play Nice (Street Commodores Editorial Column)

02 Oct

This is the 18th in a regular series of editorial pieces we’ll be posting here on the blog, originally written by Hosking Industries’ Ben Hosking for Street Commodores magazine and other magazines he’s completed opinion pieces for. This column appeared in issue 184 of Street Commodores:

Play Nice (Written March 21, 2011)

I’m not religious, but do agree with the mantra of ‘treat others as you want to be treated’.

The recent catastrophes in New Zealand, Queensland, Victoria and Japan have really helped put things into perspective for a lot of people. Australians, for the most part, really haven’t had anything in the way of terrible hardship for at least two generations.

There has been no crippling depression, no civil unrest, no famine and no widespread disease and whilst our version of democracy is really a joke, it’s a far sight better than the dictatorships many other nations live under. Just look at the lethal struggle nations like Egypt and Lybia have undertaken to try and free themselves of oppression.

So why, with all this turmoil, unrest and loss of life are websites like Facebook and Twitter still full of pointless dribble, self obsession and ‘haters’ with nothing good to say about anyone else? Life is too short for hate and for most who call Australia home, we have it too good not to try and go out of our way to make other people’s lives better.

Instead, social media sites and internet forums are full of petty, juvenile BS, back biting, back stabbing, snide remarks, jealousy and blind hate. For what: Little more than trying to make the perpetrators feel better about themselves?

Certainly, this would not be the first editorial page that either Liam or I have used to espouse the positives of being cool to each other instead of being suspicious, jealous or blatantly dismissive. Perhaps it’s just plain human nature that makes us all rude and inconsiderate, but sadly this attitude is damaging to the very lifestyles we treasure and the longer such behaviour is perpetuated online, the more it seems to spill out into real life.

Why must it only be during such horrible disasters as floods or earthquakes that we see the ‘true human spirit’ come out. At times like this people hand over their spare change – or more – without a second thought to help others affected by whatever has happened. People give of their time and volunteer to clean up the mess, rescue people or provide shelter to those with nothing left.

Without getting up on a ‘soapbox’, imagine what could be achieved in the modified car scene if that mentality was brought to the table each and every day. I’ve talked often about the need for greater ‘togetherness’ in the scene to achieve any strength against the tyranny of governmental legislation against modified cars and their owners. However, without the solidarity and single-mindedness of a large group of motivated people (ie, the car scene), we stand no chance in sticking up for ourselves and will forever be the downtrodden who are seen by the law as easy targets with deep pockets.

Not only would the scene be a much healthier, happier and more welcoming place if everyone withdrew their claws, but your karmic score board would looking a lot healthier, too. I’m a firm believer in karma and try to live by the ideal that if you do good in your life and try to do good by others, you’ll be rewarded – if by nothing else than less bad stuff happening to me. I truly believe that by living my life the way I have, I’ve gotten to places I could never have hoped for, like being editor of this very magazine for several years.

I’m not religious, but do agree with the mantra of ‘treat others as you want to be treated’. Perhaps some people just want to be treated like crap?

It’s time people stopped treating others with such disdain. Who is anyone to judge the taste or style of someone else’s Commodore? Who has the right to say who should be able to come and use a forum? Who says it’s OK to rudely disregard the sentiments, opinions and beliefs of another human being; even if they do seem abhorrent to you?

There aren’t too many people in this world that are a lost cause when it comes to finding something to like about them. So I urge all of you to make more of an effort in 2011. Make a project out of it and see if your actions can influence the actions of others. Perhaps you’ll find your community, your forum or your interactions with other people a nicer experience.

 

Be cool to one another.

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