When did the people of our society become so uncivil toward each other? It’s either you agree with me or you are my enemy!
Seemingly honest, rational conversations about our disagreements are rare. I cannot watch news shows when there is more than one person because all they do is talk over each other, neglecting that important part of communication called listening. Social media is anything but “social” if you factor in Webster’s definition of “social” as being “marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with friends or associates.”
I have great difficulty listening to politicians, celebrities, and other people who have the public stage (including religious leaders) who talk down to people, are condescending, and are not willing to discuss opposing views with mutual respect.
I started by asking the question “When did the people of our society become so uncivil toward each other?” The answer, I believe, is we always have. Ever since Cain murdered Abel there has been uncivility! Perhaps it is because nearly everyone can have their opinion heard more now than ever through technology.
However, as a nation we have witnessed the best and the worst of being divided and coming together. The Civil War had brother killing brother, neighbor killing neighbor, countrymen killing fellow countrymen. Peal Harbor and 9-11 showed a nation putting their differences aside and coming together for a common cause.
I am not purporting anyone not be passionate about their ideas and expressing them—even when I disagree—you will disagree with me—that is not a free pass to be uncivil towards each other. I will stand up for and defend the ideas outlined in the Declaration of Independence starting with “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
I would be happy to have a civil discussion with anyone who would like to listen to what those three concepts resonate with me and I will return that courtesy.
As I try to do, I looked into what God has to say about this. Ecclesiastes 10:12 sums up the key to uncivility quite nicely, “Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips.”