I just left a meeting with a couple of my co-workers, one of whom was complaining about how she had shared an image on her social network of choice, and this image, which was a photograph of her son wearing his cute new soccer uniform, received a mere 16 clicks of approval from other users; whereas her enemy, on the exact same network, shared a photo of a politician caught in the act of making a silly face, and this funny politician photo received more than 52 clicks of approval in the same amount of time.
My co-worker was enraged at this injustice; for her son, she assured us, is precious and very cute in his soccer uniform, and the lighting in the picture is beautiful, and its framing is nice. But her enemy's silly-faced politician is not even that person's own photograph: it's a copy of some anonymous original. Plus (she argued), when people indulge in ridiculing someone's appearance, it is base, mean, and low-minded; whereas to participate in the act of appreciating a finely-dressed child holding a soccer ball is tasteful, humane, kindhearted, noble, and good.
I couldn't think of any way to respond to this dilemma; but, since there was an awkward silence after my co-worker finished her complaint, I tried to offer a spontaneous opinion of my own. I said that when I see elaborate tributes being given to the recently deceased, instead of being touched by these displays, I grow sad; and I think the reason for my reaction is this: despite their sincerity, they appear too late — the time for honoring heroes is when those heroes are alive. One never knows what effect a simple act of admiration might produce.
At this point, I noticed that everyone was staring at me blankly; so I nervously tried to clarify my statement and said: I'd rather that someone be persuaded to live a fuller existence after receiving an admirer's heartfelt tribute than that a successful suicide engender posthumous praise.
But everyone just kept staring, so I regretted my speech.
Below is a picture of a boombox that I found on the back of a package that contained an old analog cassette.