I didn’t watch the Miss Universe Pageant this past weekend. Like most everyone, however, I couldn’t help but hear what happened at the end. Yes, Steve Harvey, the very popular television personality who was hosting the event mistakenly announced the wrong person as the winner.
Obviously, while not a tragedy in the true sense of the word, it’s still a highly embarrassing and…well, just a really unfortunate thing to have happened.
Being who he is, Mr. Harvey took full responsibility and apologized. (See this excellent article by my friend, Barbara Abramson.)
And, there’s no question that he felt (and still feels) absolutely sick about it!
Twitter Insults Afire!
While there were some encouraging tweets, basically, the Twitterverse and all social media lighted up with insults and other Steve Harvey-based negative memes.
What’s disappointing is that most of these people are generally charitable, kind, and would most likely come to the aid of anyone they believed to be in need. However, they eagerly participated in the Steve Harvey pile-on, laughing at the misfortune of others.
All it really takes is a bit of thought to understand why it’s inappropriate. No, make that a bit of feeling. A bit of putting oneself in another’s place.
We seem to have lost some of that empathy of late.
Now, of course, Steve Harvey will most likely not know of any one individual’s tweet, laughter, or derision.
However, There Are Many Others
Let’s take this situation and bring it closer to home. When someone we know makes a horrible mistake at work, or says something that embarrasses him or her in the eyes of others, or commits some kind of social faux pas, what do we do?
Do we laugh (out loud or even to ourselves)? Or, do we feel badly for them? Do we stand up for them publicly or — if that’s not appropriate or possible — take them aside and at least encourage them?
Do we teach our children to FEEL for those at school who are bullied or made fun of?
Do we keep from unnecessarily shaming a person? Do we teach our children the importance of same?
These are simply human questions.
Let’s all realize that when someone makes a mistake, the chances are they already feel ashamed. Let’s not shame them further. And, yes…let’s even empathize with them.
It’s part of being human. Just like Steve Harvey.