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Basic Civility

Kindness. Empathy. Civility.

I feel like the world is moving in the wrong direction on this. Maybe it’s the anonymity of the internet where you can say vile things to people on Twitter and feel no consequences. Even in a car, we yell at people, screaming that they are bad drivers when we would never do that in person. At work, I see an the volume of negativity increasing and the volume of camaraderie and collaboration decreasing.

To be clear, I have an extremely limited view of the world. Of the 7.6 billion people worldwide, I interact regularly with a few dozen and have met a few thousand in my life. I just tried to use a calculator to figure out the percentage of people I will interact with. The calculator just laughed at me.

So take my limited view into account. For all I know, civility is on the rise. For all I know, this is the best it has ever been.

So given that disclaimer, here is some of what I see:

  • The President of the US regularly engages in cyber bullying, humiliating and ostracizing people daily. Every time I hear him, it sounds like a 13-year old kid is living inside an septuagenarian body.
  • Many people worldwide live in constant fear of being blown up by radical terrorists.
  • People aren’t nice to each other at work.
  • Divorce proceedings are filled with hate and contempt.
  • Disagreements don’t explore the underlying principles of the disagreement, but rather each party digs in and refuses to engage. Online dialogue is atrocious.
  • Kids are bullied by peers and in some cases by teachers
  • Gossip and snide comments are rampant.

It feels pretty shitty.

There is a part of me that wants to stay in bed and sleep for a decade. There is another part of me, a small weak spot in my head, that says, “Get up…get through it…do something.” This is the part of my head that I try desperately to protect. It is fragile and insecure. Protecting it isn’t easy.

Im going to try and do something kind today. A random act of kindness. Maybe that will help.

Want to join me?

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