The Fourth Estate
“The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Charles Baudelaire
There is a well-known Japanese maxim which refers to the expression “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. It is intended to mean that in life we have three options. Maybe so.
But I have a question for you.
Why don’t we have a fourth option, do no evil?
After all, wouldn’t that make so much sense in this so-called new world?
Why limit yourself to avoiding speaking “evil” and then go merrily about your day cutting off slower traffic at Foot of the Lane and circulating hurtful rumours on Snapchat? Wouldn’t that mean that we are in fact, “doing evil”?
This Fourth Estate is full of people who smoke, drink, gamble, steal, overeat, drive erratically, max out credit cards, send spiteful texts to make themselves feel clever, call block people they want to avoid and generally disrespect everyone they come in contact with.
“Oh, I know people like that,” you say a little nervously.
You might like to pretend that you’ve never met such people, but you have. They are the folks who whisper in your ear any time you pass a plate full of doughnuts: “Quick, grab the big chocolate one with all the icing while no one’s looking!”
You might not even really be aware that they said it, but you take the doughnut regardless.
They might well even try to convince you that this article is a load of nonsense – but is it?
If the Fourth Estate actually exists, imagine what we are up against – people who are so sneaky and so clever that they’ve evaded “official” recognition since the dawn of time.
In other words, these people are masters at “doing bad things” every day of the week.
Perhaps they imagine that they are smarter, or somehow entitled to do as they please. Perhaps they just don’t appreciate the wayward ways that they have practised for so long. But you do.
It takes courage to confront someone like this and try to suggest that they stop doing nasty stuff. It’s tempting to simply shake your head and turn away when you realise that you are in their midst, but each unanswered action only emboldens them.
So instead, you might consider letting them know that you see them for what they are and that you are not fooled, nor are you going to be influenced by them.
Remind them that being unkind or disrespecting your fellow man does not foster happy families, happy workplaces or happy lives and that they could put their energy and abilities to much better use.
These words may well appear to fall on deaf ears but standing your ground for the betterment of humanity will make you feel good – and maybe redirect them. It’s certainly worth the effort.
Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or firstname.lastname@example.org