We are living in a world where not only nature, but human nature is being highly inconsiderate. And we are as troubled as we are enticed about trivial things being the rage, but figuratively and literally.
So, what else is new?
It’s not that polite discourse has declined, it is that the wreckage of discourse, like a car wreck, commands attention, interest, and outrage. Added to the fact we can broadcast our rage to everyone, and so it seems that the whole world is riveted by verbal carnage. My mean letter and the meaner response from my angry correspondence to my water department/best friend/lawyer in 1950 wouldn’t make the back page of the local gazette, now however it can be posted for all the world to see. A distracting and painful trend to be sure.
Yet it can all be corrected if we invest in a metaphorical screen door, which for the most part we do. We just have to install a few more doors. Shall I explain?
If everyone it seems is looking out to see you coming, at least you should look out to see them coming, and that includes all creatures big or small that in principle instinctively advance their own interest before your own. To demonstrate this, open your household door, and all sorts of visitors both benign and malign will enter, from the six legged and four-legged kind to the two legged one. Open our virtual doors, and the result is the same, and we always remember the mess our visitors leave, rather than the beds they made. As for our normal lives, we have screen doors for the physical intruders, and internet screening for the virtual ones, so that on line trolls are consigned to junk email and are deleted immediately, and if they command your attention, their name and identify is on the command line for us to make sure. You are the gatekeeper after all, and whether you are at home or are virtually at home, it is up to you who you admit to your attention and those who truly have something to say.
A hard task to do, to avoid the train wrecks of common discourse on the internet and common media that invariably make it as noxious comments to your social network feed. But such is our own weakness, as avoiding the plague means to avoid others who may carry the plague as well as those who merely have an infectious personality. But the alternative is the real and virtual diminution of the species, which we must strive to avoid, like the plague.