Why wouldn’t we all be strong advocates of civility?
Many years ago in the early days of black-and-white TV, British viewers were often entertained by David Nixon, a magician who frequently performed in a lounge suit and often wearing a bow tie.
Nixon was, above all, a gentleman. He was well-spoken in the fashion of his time and never swore while performing. He used to end his act with the supplication, “Be nice to each other!”
Those were, of course, very different times to today. Britain was rebuilding after the Second World War during which people had become used to linking arms and to helping each other. This was a sharing economy long before that phrase had been borrowed by the digital world and translated into such wonders as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb.
Gradually those values disappeared from western society and were replaced by the selfish attitude of look after yourself first and ignore everyone else. In his book, ‘The Fatal Shore’, about the early days of European settlement in Australia, Robert Hughes attributes the cause of this to the fact that conditions were then so harsh the individual had no option if he or she were to survive. Most of us have no such excuse, however.
Professor Forni, professor at Johns Hopkins University, has written books on the subject of civility and co-founded the Johns Hopkins Civility Project. Clearly he is a strong advocate of civility and why wouldn’t he be? Why wouldn’t we all be strong advocates of civility?
Recently Instagram, the photo-sharing application, started a campaign #kindcomments – https://instagram-together.com – partly, I suppose, to counteract abusive and negative comments made on its website by third parties.
Why don’t we all join in and support movements of this nature? I strongly believe we should join in. We will make others feel better and happier and, what’s more, we will make ourselves feel better and happier.
For my part, I fully intend to commit at least one act of kindness every day. I hope I already do commit such acts but what I am aiming for is to consciously commit at least one act of kindness every day which I might not previously have committed in the normal course of events.
Will you join me in supporting this initiative? I do hope so; we can all do our bit to make our world a happier place.