Civility seems like such a basic building block. But as with anything, if you don’t pay attention, it disappears.
For some reason it’s now permissible to say all sorts of hateful things. Giving those things voice doesn’t simply reveal our prejudices, it reinforces them. It allows us to embellish them. Now there’s more and more and more that must be rooted out.
People become part of groups to be disdained rather than individuals to be celebrated.
And people think you can say everything with impunity.
Three students at Bucknell (the college in my little town) were just expelled for celebrating and reinforcing racism on their radio show. They recalled ways Blacks had been tortured and killed as a good thing. They got called to account by a prisoner in a local penitentiary who was listening and wrote to the university to say, “this doesn’t seem right.”
Well, isn’t that the truth!
I haven’t heard the reactions of their parents, but in similar events all over the country, parents have refused to face the profound hatefulness spewing from their offspring’s mouths… and hearts. Refused to look at their own collusion and perhaps incitement of such small-souledness.
People have value. Each and every one. Each and every one wears the face of God.
And so we must speak about them, respecting their holiness, letting the love drip from our tongues.
Let us re-examine civility and its integral relationship to Peace. In this season of the Pink Moon, we watch the world cover itself in beauty. Shouldn’t we perhaps take a leaf from Mother Earth’s book and investigate the possibilities of consideration and kindness?