by Frank Tybislawski, Brisbane, Australia
There was recently an event, a prank phone call, initiated by an Australian radio station to a UK hospital where a member of the Royal family was being treated. The callers pretended to be relatives and sought details of the medical condition of the patient. The prank phone call was recorded and later broadcast on an Australian radio station, however the situation turned tragic when it was subsequently revealed that the person who answered and then forwarded the phone call at the UK hospital had committed suicide.
My wife found this quite a shock, and although I can’t say I was shocked by what had happened, I kept pondering it for quite a while, well into the next few days. It stirred something in me, but I wasn’t immediately sure what that was, or why.
In the past I listened to a Brisbane radio station which also did, and perhaps still does, make and broadcast prank phone calls as part of their morning or afternoon program. At the time I worked in telecommunications so I was well aware that it was illegal to record a conversation without the permission of the other party, and also illegal to make that recording public or share it with any third party. I wondered how the radio stations got around this, suspecting that they just paid off the person being pranked to make them agree to have it broadcast.
Apart from the legal aspects, quite often it just felt cruel to knowingly mislead another person to cause them to get angry or upset, just for the amusement of others. I then started to think about other things with a common theme, such as TV shows like Candid Camera, secret business dealings, relationships where one partner (or perhaps both) cheats, and teasing or bullying. I thought about so-called sports like boxing and even went as far as torture, which I’m sure happened in the past and probably still does, which are all cases where one person does something to another person to get something for themselves without any regard for the other person. Even when I see things like this presented in movies or on TV, which I know is not real, I find it difficult to watch.
So what is the common theme in all these things that I have a degree of difficulty with? Well… I think it is love, or more precisely, the lack of love, in all those actions. One person acting without love for the other, it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if it is a direct relationship or an indirect relationship, an immediate action or a delayed reaction, it still comes down to one person, by their selfish actions, causing another person to feel or experience something they would not otherwise experience. This could be hurtful in a physical, emotional or psychological way, or a combination of these.
Why does it feel wrong? I suggest that it feels wrong because it is not something we are naturally aligned with. It goes against the grain of what we feel and know deep within to be our true way of being. If the lack of love feels wrong, does that not mean that the expression of love is right? I think this says something about where we came from and what we are made of. To me this is just one small way to prove that we are essentially built of or around love, and anything which sits outside of that doesn’t feel right, and simply isn’t right.
What would the world be like if we only did things based on love?