I think there’s a lot of confusion about what hate is and what civility is. Not caring about a person’s problems isn’t hate, it’s simply unkind. Civility is the most mild-mannered type of kindness; it’s basic respect and courtesy. It’s rock bottom.
Being polite requires that we make an effort to make other people comfortable. Being civil means that we try just a little bit to avoid making them uncomfortable in the first place. Civility requires that we avoid slurs and personal attacks. It’s not that hard.
If you sit around thinking about how much you respect everyone’s humanity but cuss and fume at pedestrians, civility has been lost. Your civility is in the expression of respect. You have to work on it.
Why should we bother? Other people are rude and don’t deserve my efforts, you may think. As a starting point, that lacks a certain kindness. Other people, even rude people, deserve your effort to be respectful, assuming you are a kind person.
It’s too much work to keep score and try to be exactly as rude to someone else as they have been to you. We may have a reflex that pulls us that way, but it’s so much simpler to just be the kind folks we want to be. Can’t that be our baseline? Why would you want to make things worse for someone who is already having a bad time?
In fact, you will want to be uncivil to some people, and maybe you’re right to do so. If it’s a matter of safety or your own protection, you’re not obligated to play nice. Safety first.
Maybe you’re changing hearts and minds. Flipping the bird at another driver could cause them to have an epiphany that they really are a terrible driver, a rotten human and they should just go fuck themselves. Maybe that will make it the best, smartest day of their life. Or not.
Either way, we’re all in this together, so play nice. But not too nice.
Further, further reading:
My novel is available in print, but the electronic version is instant gratification!! There’s a forty-page free preview if you click on the look inside doodad, which looks like this:
Happy reading!! I look forward to hearing from you!!
If you search for Harlots, Odd Book, you will find it. Undertakers seems to be more relevant to some deadly form of wrestling. For now.
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If you need one, just reply here.