Shut up and say something…

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Shut up and say something… Some 12 hours ago I had one of those moments when you so wish you could stop time and preferably go back an hour to re-set the clock. Via social media I heard of the school massacre in Connecticut, yet another tale of madness and sadness which will never be resolved. I was then , shortly after, speaking with my family in the US via Skype whereupon they told me of the tragedy. As we were speaking , I opened up another tab on the laptop to view some live news footage and gave them the updated facts and figures as they were known at that point.

The reason for my call originally was to give news of my own son who had just returned home from hospital after a scare…..then it dawned on me. Being a parent and one who had, within the previous 24 hours, been very anxious about the health of my own son, I found myself feeling completely numb.

There is no greater pain , I would imagine, than to suffer the loss of a child in any circumstance let alone one such as this. Of course having your personal tragedy being played out over the TV airwaves as it unfolds must be doubly painful especially as the scene was a crime scene and as such untouched. To have this pain magnified out of all proportion is now possible, of course, by the insensitive and indiscriminate use of social media.

What struck me about yesterdays events was this; some people just have no refinement at all. Let’s forget about the people who have all their messages automated and pay little or no attention to what is happening in the world…more on them later. In the midst of some very touching and sincere messages were a plethora of politically biased and opportunistic messages all trying to prove some intellectual point. On top of that there were the usual messages from people who are just so very pleased with their success that they need to tell us about it several times every day. 


There comes a time in any work arena or community setting that each individual just has to step back and take stock of what is truly going on. Some people are just not able to demonstrate the level of insight, empathy and candour needed and this is very sad. What it also tells us is this; there are many plastic people out there, all espousing ways to engage and understand yet failing miserably to understand their own message. They are,in my opinion, truly pathetic, each and every one of them. 

I decided to do two things yesterday, firstly to voice my sympathy and empathy for the victims and secondly to request that people just stop pushing their business and instead push some more meaningful intentions. After that, I watched what was going on for a short while until I could take no more. 

We had the ‘lobby’ voices all shouting their particular bias and doing their best to point score as subtly as they knew how. We still had the automated fools who, for some inexplicable reason, had not crawled out from their homes under the rocks and seen what was happening. They just continued to offer more followers/likes and ‘off point’ messages, as if the world was perfect. There is something very disturbing about people so wrapped up in themselves that they lack the emotional maturity to contextualise their actions appropriately, I fear these people are all too common nowadays.

So, what should I write about today in the wonderful world of content marketing? Well , not much other than the above. This chance to reflect on this tragedy, at this emotional time of year, is a powerful enough message to give. I will give one piece of encouragement however, as you prepare to get back on the social platform bandwagon; remember that what you do and how well you do it pales into insignificance when those for whom you do it are no longer here. 


 see you on the long and winding road…… Patrick

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