Civility is a virtue that is getting lost in today’s world. This Obama’s quote (probably an old one, still sense remains) made me write this article. How civility is to be shown to self and to others. I am not interested to dwell on the simple meaning of civility, which is being polite and gentlemanly/womanly. I don’t deny it, but I feel there is a greater sensible meaning.

Everybody has the freedom to opinions. But what you say can’t be against the freedom of the other person. Dissent, as I consider, is one of the most important pillar of democracy. It is an expression of the freedom to opinions/views, and it helps people to listen to multiple sides of the story. Whether you are in the power or you are part of rebel/opposition, you have the right to put your opinions strongly. But do you have right to criticize the identities of other persons? Instead of attacking the arguments, we attack the person (It is called fallacy of ad hominem). Such attacks are attempts to create polarization. When you have enough sound arguments, you don’t need to engage in mud slinging. We, the public, also should be blamed. Arguments/Factual evidences are so boring and personal attacks are so fun (and media acts as a catalyst). So politicians and others use the easy way to capture our hearts and votes.

There is also need to show civility towards the self. I have done something wrong and somebody criticized/ challenged/corrected my act. For me, how that person corrects shows his civility; we can’t do much about it. But what is the message I gave to myself shows my civility. Surely I need to take corrective action if things were not appropriate. But beyond that, I needn’t (and shouldn’t) accept the message that is denigrating my core identity. Even we shouldn’t build our identities based on the number of likes in social media. We need to differentiate between person and quality/talents. I wish that my belief in my essential goodness doesn’t get too affected by negative (and even positive) comments. That is civility towards self.

A Jesuit interested to think and write; Loves philosophy, spirituality, politics…. Believes in God & well-being of all humans… Open to difference & newness..

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