Rivers of ink and pixels have been flooding newspapers, news websites and social media outlets about Rob Ford, the current Mayor of Toronto, for a few days now. The threat of it all lurked in the shadows for a few months, since the drug antics of Rob Ford have been hinted at by the media. We now have a fully developed case of social and political black eye (one of them at least) for all to see and shake their heads at .
Most people who kept informed willingly or were assaulted by the news over the last few days, know that Rob Ford has admitted to using illegal drugs (while in a drunken stupor, as if that softens the blow,) he avoided admitting to drug use when asked by the media a few months ago, and he has also been photographed with alleged drug dealers, hardly the place to be for a mayor, unless it’s some wicked undercover work to expose the bad guys.
You can access details in most papers, and online as well, so I will not go further. The situation is disgraceful and it shouldn’t have made it this far. A person in a position of influence should display respectable conduct. There are no two ways about it. Even more so when the situation is recurrent. That points to absent remorse and that is a scary reality.
But my thoughts revolve around the conflicting messages about this situation. That such a situation has been created is a sign of the times. It is, on the bright side, an opportunity to reassess our value system and make the appropriate adjustments, if you will.
Some people defend Rob Ford with the unoriginal, though true, “everyone makes mistakes,” and while that each of us want that applied to us at least once in a lifetime, I believe this to be a case of “n/a” (not applicable). It should be. Barring unforeseen political and social circumstances, when one is in the public eye, and in an influential position in which elected by a community, one should avoid any situation that might become a black eye.
Others are saying “Many of us have been there at least once or have loved ones who have…” meaning not drugs necessarily but alcohol and questionable behavior. I’d stamp another “n/a” on this too. This is not an appeal for help and compassion issued by a man seeking help. A man of high political stature is plunging into one pool of social wrongness after another and he is getting away with it, while almost everyone’s hands are wringing over something that should have not been. Shedding some PR-required crocodile tears while saying “sincerely” three times and throwing a “God bless the people of Toronto” at the end should not make anyone say “have some understanding, he’s going through a tough time.”
The threshold of what we consider socially acceptable is getting lower and lower. I am troubled by it. Extremes are never good. Taut lines stretched across concepts and ideas and life in general annoy people and make them react, but being permissive and lacking principles is not the answer either. With common sense and critical thinking as bearings we can find the way, I am sure.
Finally, there are some people who are saying “enough is enough; how much time are we going to spend on this issue when there’s many more pressing ones that need attention?”
True to some extent. I think the Rob Ford incident is one of the iceberg tips that might help us – if we are so inclined – understand and assess the times, review our collective principles, reformulate terms on engagement for those who are or will ever be in positions of influence and ultimately understand the huge responsibility we bear as today’s adults. Our collective children are learning values, principles, political and social correctness (they should not differ much) from us. Parents, educators, politicians, and every person who has the capacity to become a role model has to know that the responsibilities associated with such a job are as high as the job itself.
What do you think?