Last month we made last minute plans to pop into London by train and see a show. It dawned on me that something extraordinary was going on and it turned out to be The Pride march 2017. I avoid crowds, generally, but found myself overwhelmed and carried away by the collective joy and the exuberance of the huge event. It was an incredible mass expression of being alive and free.
There has been a similar mass feeling on an on-line study group that I joined recently, made up of an international group of several hundred students. The material is beautifully presented and glitch-free, the learning and involvement an absolute pleasure. A large part of the learning happens through the group discussions, where you feel you are back in your university lecture theatre with old friends. Occasionally a thread explodes into something very different.
This week an inflammatory dialogue broke out where one individual questioned the choice of one of the reading materials that they felt was ‘wrong’ due to the nature of its main theme. We are used to spotting verbal and psychological editing during conversations where someone realises that they need to be precise and careful, in exactly how they word their opinion on certain issues. It is thankfully rare for people to voice their glaring prejudice in black and white and show unapologetic lack of insight into the relevance of diversity, in modern society.