There is something more powerful than laws, policies, diseases, and the coronavirus: ourselves. Our culture, our values, our convictions. However, when we try to change laws and policies, defeat diseases and social problems, against our peace and happiness there works anger, fear, personal and group selfishness
The great struggle for the soul of humanity began very early in history, continued through centuries, changed paradigms but it is still ongoing: it is a struggle between hope and despair, truth and lies, love and fear, unity and tribalism, wisdom and nonsense. This battle catches us up and rages in each of us.
The assault troops of this war are the "trolls", these malicious Internet users whose purpose is to disrupt discussion forums by multiplying messages without any sense or by causing them to multiply. Because they are victims of difficult or shameful experiences, or simply for money, they spread their poison on a large scale in society.
There is the “beginner troll”, or the troll who ignores himself, who “trolls” out of ignorance of netiquette or technical functioning, with no real intention of harming. Anyone who replies to these types of messages is also a “beginner troll”.
There is the "stupid troll" who is persuaded to have a valid opinion on everything, to be in good faith, and that his verbal diarrhea interests everyone. He can become naughty because he pretends to have all rights. As the saying goes "when a troll is annoyed, the troll becomes even more boring".
There is also the "nasty troll". His goal is, consciously, to scramble the cards for fun, because either the subject displeases him or the forum’s administrators have annoyed him, or because outside it is raining and he is bored. Finally, there is the synthetic genre, the "stupid and nasty troll": in bad faith at all foolproof, a conceptual nullity, self-deprecating facade, plenty of language tics and smileys, of an unimaginable baseness.
These trolls and their trollings cause damage in the media, in politics, in family and personal relationships. To defend ourselves, we have to start from ourselves and establish some principles to follow, on the Internet as in real life, and thus manage our inner trolls and those who come to us from outside, including the coronavirus.
1-. Keep calm
Certain triggers have the power to scare us, make us angry, deprive us of the best of ourselves revealing our worst instincts, and then we sometimes over-react. If we take in our faults, if we stop blaming others and let off steam on others, we can guide ourselves by more benevolence and wisdom.
2-. Let's listen to this wisdom
At peace of mind, we are receptive to the others’ perspective, just such as much to ours, we can perceive the small light emerging from that point where the three pillars of our personality - emotion, reason, intuition - balance themselves and flashing us with words of wisdom.
3-. Let's be good and strong
Kindness without strength can become weakness. Force without kindness becomes brutal. Strength and kindness, together, protect effectively all that to us and in us is precious, and all we have in common with others.
4-. No more gossip: let's find the truth
Fake news, half-truths, slander and misinformation driven by emotion or political calculation, only bring out the worst of us. We are reasonable people, but also quick to demonize others to justify the harm we are capable of doing. If we see the human behind the enemy or the person badly acting, we can understand better the whole complexity of the truth.
These words are inspired by Avaaz's initiative, which encourages everyone to share these 4 principles and the experiences they inspire. "Sometimes a handful of people acting in a certain way can catalyze change on a large scale." Imagine a world where most people would agree to follow such principles, and would succeed most of the time. That would not mean that we would agree all the time, but our disagreements would have a different flavor: less petty, manipulative and tragic, but saner and respectful. Humanity would be magnificent in its diversity. Sometimes we could still oppose each other violently, but it would be in more noble way.