Although sticks and stones are said to be able to break bones, words are forces to be reckoned with as well, contrary to what the saying implies. In recent times words are flying back and forth over the globe at the speed of light and with a great array of effects. What is now known as the “Arab spring”, is an uprising prepared and coordinated largely through the web and different types of social media. No country’s leader can now say that words can never hurt them, as has been proven in Egypt and Tunisia, for starters. Sticks and stones may break your bones and online words are what bring them to your doorstep.
Fascinating as this concept may be, it is also a pretty frightening notion. All you need is a group of people and some convincing words and there you have it: an angry mob. What has been happening lately in England has absolutely boggled my mind. The looting and violence on the streets of London and then other cities after that, seem to stem from some primal urge to destroy and conquer. Destroy shop windows and conquer street corners from police, that is. I can’t forget the image of a grocery shop owner standing by in tears, while people walk out with her merchandise, saying: “I just don’t understanding why these people are doing this”. When the kids with bricks in their hands are asked to explain, none really had a clear motivation. Just something they had on their Bucket List, I guess.
The days following these senseless riots, the same channels were used to bring hundreds to the streets, to help clean the sidewalks and mend damages done. An inspiring sight and a very important message to the world. They picked up the sticks and stones and threw them in a lake of optimism, creating a positive ripple effect. This is the online community I would like to be a part of.