Civility and Modern Politics 2/2

Part 1: http://www.young-diplomats.com/civility-modern-politics-12/ Intellectual deficiency can be attributed to nature and hereditary, but it is the duty of the society to enlighten its members, and do so with empathy. More often, instead of honest efforts at erudition and brotherly care for one another, we often aim at gaining superficial advantages and self-aggrandizement in our discourse. This […]

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Part 1: http://www.young-diplomats.com/civility-modern-politics-12/

Intellectual deficiency can be attributed to nature and hereditary, but it is the duty of the society to enlighten its members, and do so with empathy. More often, instead of honest efforts at erudition and brotherly care for one another, we often aim at gaining superficial advantages and self-aggrandizement in our discourse. This is a common ‘sin’ prevalent in the intellectual class.

Truth and openness to New Ideas

It takes strength to offer a political or an ideological opponent a way to save face

We should always keep an attitude of reception to truth and openness to new ideas. We don’t learn anything new from our own protestations. We learn faster by carefully listening to other views, and to reflect honestly on new ideas brought to our consciousness.

The bitterness and fanaticism of your opponents might only be an outgrowth of their wounded pride, the humiliation in their private lives. It might be their honest cry for respect and acceptance into a civil society. The emotional bile they stored is perhaps rooted in circumstances that few souls can endure. So they drag to the public square their ‘righteous’ indignation, and spew it all out in political posture to force the society to hear their cries, sense their rage, and feel the pain of their privation.

It takes strength to offer a political or an ideological opponent a way to save face; knowing it can always blow back on your face. It is still well worthy endeavor – for there is always a chance for every ‘bigot’ or ‘demagogue’ to drop that brutal mask they carry around to let a humane face emerge.

We love to project mechanical strength, but human nature remains fragile and amenable. The hope for salvation for all the members of our society shall always remain. The politics of bigotry can raise in us a dark passion, weaken the bonds with our fellow countrymen, but it should never break our resolve to leave behind a better, more just and a more tolerant world for our children.

Civility is not an option

Civility must not be an option, but the ultimate choice in our political discourse. Our bonds of affection must always remain. We don’t teach virtue by mean ways. So I agree with the Platonic argument that; it is not the business of a good man to punish the bad man. It is most fitting for the good man to stick to his noble ways.

Justice is the highest virtue of every descent society, and to impart it – is the noblest act by its members.

We don’t have to agree with people in order to acknowledge them and be respectful to their views. Acknowledging a bigoted view is not condoning it; but by lowly listening you’ll have a chance to show a better way. We don’t show character in how we agree but rather in how we disagree. It is best to show genuine interest in understanding the opponent’s views and even their individual stories if they chance to share. To reserve judgment and assume fallibility of your own strong convictions

Now, I have to admit, there are times that I’m betrayed by these noble disposition and equanimity of civility I’m proposing. On hearing things that suggests subverting justice or outright display of bigotry, I’m sometimes robbed of this clear reason. It’s often a fleeting experience, but nevertheless a personal low point of my own struggles with civility I hope to keep improving on.

Justice should be the highest virtue.

Justice is the highest virtue of every descent society, and to impart it – is the noblest act by its members. We should remain unapologetic in submission to this higher law, and should not be charitable to support its subversion; but with civility, shall we still engage one another in its dispensation. If our highest course is to see justice through – the principles that escorts its delivery must remain stern and uncompromising, yet the methods – most be civil, charitable and gentle.

Fierce opposition can sometimes polish the path to erudition, and even by persons we might find detestable in our own estimates. Even in the emptiness of ‘profound’ stupidity and bigotry – there can be invaluable lessons to be deduced.

The world is full of judgment days, but justice is the end of nature. The sum total of life is equity; civility is the sum total of the sacrifices each society makes to sustain itself. Civility, kept at a net deficit, the society will collapse. This natural order of things has been consistent throughout the history of mankind.

Fierce opposition can sometimes polish the path to erudition, and even by persons we might find detestable in our own estimates. Even in the emptiness of ‘profound’ stupidity and bigotry – there can be invaluable lessons to be deduced.

Every man is new to nature and unique in nature

Every man is new to nature and unique in nature. Our journeys aren’t same. Our trials are different. The circumstance that shapes our various perceptions varies significantly. Some are raised in splendor and abundance of opportunities, whilst others only know of pain and privation. Some people could be lonely amidst vibrant crowds; their sorrow and loneliness is hidden from our senses. Behind some smiles might be lurking deep sadness and resentment for ills and injustices suffered in private.

It is normal to sometimes frown at the idea of unconditional love; but it is also unwise to hate. Why? It takes too much of our vital energy to hate another. “Anger is like an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain. To avoid self-destruction, it is worth learning the delicate spiritual art of showing compassionate and not harboring anger.

With civility, love and empathy we will appeal to the better angels of our nature. Never underestimate your capacity to make our world a better place. The trajectory of a nation can be tilted in a single act of charity; the faith of the people can be restore by a single staunch man of goodwill; and you, my dear reader, with your civility, can touch a life with a single word of love.

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2 comments

  1. Jorge C. 11 months ago

    Great article!

    Reply Like Dislike
  2. Jorge C. 11 months ago

    Great article!

    Reply Like Dislike

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