READER REPORT:

Enough with Roast Busters finger pointing

LAURENCE MILTON
Last updated 08:00 19/11/2013
Roast Busters protest
Fairfax NZ

ACTION WANTED: Thousands marched in the streets of Auckland, above, and other cities including Christchurch over the weekend protesting rape culture in the wake of the Roast Busters scandal.

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OPINION: The actions of a group of teenagers calling themselves Roast Busters and the supportive remarks about their deeds from other teenagers, both boys and girls, shocked us as a nation.

Our confidence that we live in the best country in the world has been shaken and we look for reasons and explanations for what has occurred.

We look at the attitudes displayed by these youths and their belief in self-gratification regardless of cost to others and we wonder what went wrong in their upbringing that they can hold such selfish views.

A walk downtown on any Friday or Saturday night will show the same drive for self-gratification being clearly demonstrated by individuals of both genders. The simple moral principles of trust, integrity and respect appear to be missing.

We get the impression that for some individuals these are out dated philosophies and no longer have value. Regrettably, these important values have been replaced by selfishness and self-gratification.

The same attitude is also prevalent in the use of social media to humiliate, denigrate and embarrass others. Cyber bullying is prevalent and again appears to be motivated by self-gratification and aggrandisement.

Empathy for the victim is non-existent and the originators appear to have no concept of the effect that their actions will have. Self, not only before but also above others, seems to be their catch phrase.

We, as the parents and teachers, must shoulder the blame for this distorted and self-absorbed view of the world. We need to ask ourselves how we have failed to teach these such basic values.

An examination of our reaction to the Roast Busters issue may give us an answer.

We blame the police or blame the parents of those involved, both the protagonists and the victims. We finger point at politicians and lawmakers and blame them.

We blame pornography, drugs, violent movies, video games, and alcohol.

We proclaim our disgust and distress whilst hunting for those to accuse for allowing our society to fall to such depths of depravity.

We are firmly enmeshed in the blame game in an attempt to feel better about ourselves as society deteriorates around us. This blame game simply demonstrates that making ourselves feel better at the expense of others is not only acceptable but preferable.

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Our actions in conducting a witchhunt and acting as society's vigilantes simply reinforces that our own personal emotions are paramount regardless of the feelings of others.

The solution is not finger pointing, protesting or playing the blame game but the far more difficult and challenging task that is for us to change our behaviour.

We are the role models and we need to demonstrate that in the appropriate and right way.

We must show by our actions and words that a healthy, enjoyable and prosperous society is one that is founded around the principles of family values, of trust, of respect, and most of all of love.

Imagine what this nation of ours could be like if we truly develop, demonstrate and continually embrace these values in our everyday life.


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