If you want to know why the world appears to have gone to hell in a handbasket, perhaps one only needs to look in the mirror ... or more specifically, Newton's Third Law.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction - and that's why "justice fighters" and bandwagon passengers need to be careful about what causes they support.

The reactions to a well-intentioned initial action could result in the whole thing doing more harm than good.

Read more: Kate Stewart: Getting away with murder
Kate Stewart: Best solutions are close to home

Advertisement

Apart from the dreaded internet, there's not too much that unites us globally ... except for music and sport.

But these two things - with a little help from social media - have become the latest version of weapons of mass destruction.

Whether it be not standing for America's national anthem at a ball game to make a point about the Trump administration or boycotting music tours of Israel as a show of support for Palestine, when will these protesters realise their intended targets are rarely the ones that get hit.

Instead of focusing on domestic issues that affect us here in New Zealand, we're busy sticking our long Kiwi beaks into international affairs and we've failed to notice we may be hurting the wrong people.

I won't pretend to comprehend what it must be like to live in a country like Israel that is constantly in a state of conflict - a country where your only respite from the religious and political backlash could be the simple act of attending the live concert of an international artist ... like Lorde.

But the Kiwi singer bowed to pressure from the pro-Palestine lobby and cancelled her concert there.

One negative and unintended consequence of this is the possible cancellation of her Florida gigs - way to go "justice fighters".

Why must the political message matter more than the needs of the people ... the very same people who suffer as a result of us supposedly standing up for them. It's bloody ridiculous, and is little more than a token gesture that makes us feel good about ourselves because we're seen to be standing up for something that we've heard is horrendous ... although we've never had to live through it ourselves.

Advertisement

Oh, the mighty effect of the bandwagon. It's all too easy to sit in judgment of somebody else's crap, mindlessly thinking that following propaganda and the misinformed will somehow be of benefit - not to mention the "likes" it generates on social media. Baaa!

By all means, take action, but factor in the opposite reactions and be sure to target only those who are truly responsible.

History tells us that even the withholding of resources like oil and food has - more often than not - proven ineffective. If anything, our attempts to "fix" these problems have resulted in more harm than good, making us complicit in the suffering of those we claim to want to save.

How dare we deny them such rare moments of enjoyment and escapism through some self-serving attempt to appear PC and on trend?

How is boycotting music tours of Israel going to punish anyone but the concert-goer? Do you think the Israeli government really gives a crap?

The people have suffered enough already. Te very pleasure we seek to deny them of could well be used as a tool to help unite them.

■Kate Stewart is a staunch advocate of common sense and three-ply toilet tissue - feedback to investik8@gmail.com