The fall of civilization?

The loss of civility that has been occasioned by the internet creeps into our daily discourse, it seems. What used to be confined to the anonymity of Twitter and comments sections in Facebook and news sites is now uttered casually on the street. It is as if a great barrier built on eons of learning to live together has been broken and we are reverting to some pre-civilized state where the pounding of chests and the roaring of challenges were commonplace.

This most recent incivility started, I suppose, in the tribalism of soccer stadiums gone wild. We used to watch in amazement the barbarism and hate exposed in the videos from Europe. Now it resides here too, the in-your-face-ism of people who don’t share one’s own worldview, this need to expose to the world one’s own worldview as the only acceptable one, and to denigrate all those who don’t share it.

So I will join this me-firstness and proclaim here my credo to the world.

The world belongs to all of us and we need to learn to share nicely, as we were taught in kindergarten. We shouldn’t shit in the playpen, and we should hold hands, even with those we don’t like, when crossing the street. We should not be cruel to others, but accept them as they are, just as we expect them to accept us. Tantrums are disruptive and warrant a time-out for the actor to calm down. We should treat animals gently, because they have feelings, too.

I could go on, but you get the point.

 

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