CIVILITY, IN OUR TIME AND BEYOND
2 June 2020, 09:00:00
Ethics, civility and our humanity are constantly in jeopardy. It is more visible today than it was yesterday and events in the US have sparked a spiral downward. Unity and compassion are needed more than ever.
Hatred destroys. It eats away at the heart of us.
Blame suffocates. It drowns another's voice.
Violence shatters. It takes away our dignity.
These actions strip us of our humanity and diminutize our ethical intelligence.
So much of the world around us and our actions are driven by our own fear.
Brené Brown, in her work, has illustrated that "...blame is a way of discharging our own pain and discomfort."
Pema Chödrön talks, in her book 'When things Fall Apart' about how, when we think about our own suffering, "We experience it as fear. It motivates passion, aggression, ignorance, jealousy, and pride". Pema suggests that,
"...one has to give up hope that this way of thinking will bring us satisfaction. Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there’s anywhere to hide."
Tomas Spath and Cassandra Dahnke, Founders of the Institute for Civility in Government define civility as, "...claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process."
If we are to move towards better,
If we are to recognise the uniqueness in all of us,
If we are to embrace the richness of diversity,
We need to do, not what we think is the right thing to do; but
What is the rightest thing to do;
What is the most wise and compassionate thing to do; and
What is the most ethical thing to do.
Ethics is not about rules, ethics is personal, ethics is making decisions that are forward motion towards a better version of ourselves.
It's at the root of the sort of person we aspire to be.
Let's move towards better.