Ben Elton: We Can Learn From Everyone & The Dangers of The Internet
By Jatinder Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
Ben Elton started out his career as a performer and became one of the UK's top comedians, being very well known for his political satire. He then became an award winning author and producer of West End plays and musicals. So it's fair to say that he has thought a lot about life and the world around him 🙂
In a recent article in the Guardian, he shared some of the societal issues that troubled him. One of these was how he felt Donald Trump (US Republican Presidential Candidate) was implying that the wealthy are better and cleverer than those less well off. He said;
“Donald Trump is claiming that ‘because I’m a billionaire, I must know something that you don’t’ – I don’t think that’s the case. I think a homeless person definitely knows something I don’t; I think a mother or a father or a carer trying to bring up a disabled child, they know something I don’t.”
Furthermore, Mr Elton is particularly concerned over the rise of the internet and how it has effected how people build relationships together offline. He states,
“I’m not a luddite, we can’t fight it – I’m not going to start throwing stones at Silicon Valley. But I do think we, as a culture and as a community, have to start to address the fact that social interaction has kept humanity sane for many thousands of years – the high street, meeting people, actually being a part of a living breathing community as opposed to living inside the internet. People may be moving online for shopping, music and social media, but they still want to socialise, he says. “[People] still want to go out and meet, they still want to be part of life."
Ben Elton makes some very powerful points here. Legends know they can learn from anybody, and that the ability to see and apply this, is a massive benchmark for acquiring humility. This approach respects each individual human being as innately valuable in themselves, rather than judging their value, according to their achievements. Furthermore in line with this appreciation for humanity, Mr Elton understands that nothing can replace face to face human interaction, in order to form trustworthy relationships, friendships and mutually enjoyable experiences!