Eighteen years away from the start of the new Millennium counted. Days, months, years at a time, and nearing two decades of living, mostly one day to the next, happily. Being Civil.
I fear to call my parents elderly. Worse yet, the kids are now adults. Today, hand over hand with My Love, we undertake the tug of war for tomorrow. It is us vs. them, more often than not. Keyboards clacking, smart TVs politicizing, I lack a grasp of any specific aha moment. The days are busy but good for the most part. Yet, in memory, I have only once since that 2000 demarkation honestly toasted the dawn of a better morning and meant it.
Gossip and skirmish have wrapped themselves tightly in the form of fake news. If you remember, Rodney King played the canary 26 years ago pleading for us all to get along. Character, as a positive public relations tool, has given way to a tweet. FoMO is a real thing. JoMO is the preferred option, though you must document it on Insta. Ideas have merit, yet campus safe spaces shelter out opinions to intolerance. Desensitization exists.
Maybe my armchair quarterback advice rings hollow from the sidelines. Perhaps the real world is too dangerous without a helmet (or earplugs). Yet, I have but one hail mary play; one point to be heard.
We all inhabit this space. Be the bright side of humanity, real or imagined. Tip a hat. Say thank you. May I. Please. You’re welcome (and mean it). Open a door and help with a chair. Slow down and acknowledge. Listen more. Talk with, not at. Utilize the Thumperian Principle (Thumper’s Rule), “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Smile. Be kind.
The American social fabric is frayed, indeed. This quandary goes far beyond the mark in a timeline of a passed century turn. Yet, idealistically, this word, Civility, is a fundamental solution to the foolishness. Be civil. The concept could hold this craziness together.