To be able to determine if the joke is harmful or not requires tremendous sensitivity to not only the unsuspecting victim but any other unwilling participant. This is not always so simple. We often don't really know what is going on inside someone. Seemingly innocent comments can actually be causing incredible built up pain only to be exasperated by a "harmless" prank. And if we choose to simply ignore this reality and turn a callous blind eye to other people's emotions then we truly are narcissistic individuals that only care about our own enjoyment.
Children can often be the most vicious when it comes to playing jokes on their classmates. This is obvious since it is the attitude of children to only care about their own pleasure and be oblivious to other's feelings. It is the process of maturity that teaches us to be sensitive and caring of others. It would be a sad statement of society if we stopped teaching that lesson and instead encouraged the disregard of anyone else's feelings aside from our own.
Children learn lessons from the actions they see and experience. This was recently pointed out so beautifully by a mother in DC whose child's pumpkin was stolen. This mother understood all too well that the pain her child felt undoubtedly will be translated into a view of the world and the way one should treat the world. To deny this would be to deny the very nature of experiential knowledge. Well what lesson do we think children are learning when parents play Jimmy Kimmel's Halloween Candy Practical Joke? Granted, to watch the children's reaction is without a doubt hysterical and cute at the same time but at what expense? Do we really expect these children to understand the balance between acceptable joking and going to far? What will a parent be able to say when his or her child gets into trouble at school for harassing another student and then says "but mom, I was only joking"?
Jimmy Kimmel is encouraging a view of life that our personal enjoyment is all that matters regardless of how I get it. And to be inconvenienced by worrying about other's feelings is to great a burden. This attitude can only lead to more selfishness. When children can be relegated to tools for my amusement then how long until spouses are viewed that way as well. When the responsibility that inevitable weighs down on us regarding these relationships becomes to great to bear society will simply dismiss them as necessities. Just this week an article was published titled 6 Reasons Not To Marry. Number five was "Because you can break up".
"My boyfriend and I have been together 10 years now, and whenever we've hit an especially rocky patch (as all couples do) it's been a relief to know there's nothing holding us together except our desire to make it work. We're at liberty to break up in an instant if things become unbearable."
How about that for commitment!
Sure life is about pleasure and we should have fun. However, self indulgence pales in comparison to shared enjoyment. Responsibility far outshines sheer laziness. Giving truly does last longer than taking. But should one choose the selfish path, when the Universe finally catches up with you and reveals the empty treasure chest you've amassed don't be to upset when the voice doesn't say "just kidding"