You make a good point. However I do note that there are civilizations which have, over time, become more civil. We as a nation seem to be sliding into a level of incivility, if I can make that word up. Two studies bear me out on this. In one (in these, the research organizations were Pew and, I believe, the University of Michigan), college students were found to spend more than 10 hours a day on their devices. In a parallel study, the level of empathy that college students show has dropped dramatically. My guess, and it’s an educated one, is as we descend increasingly to a state of stupor and self adulation through our devices, selfies and Instagram photos that celebrate the Almighty ME, we also slide more deeply into behaviors that show increasingly less respect and regard for others. To wit-the compulsion to take the phone out and photograph an accident victim (HEY I might get millions of likes for this and/or make a ton of money for my video) rather than to act instinctively to save someone’s life. To your point, Ed, humans are by nature self-absorbed and self-serving. It is our journey to make room for and accommodate others, to demonstrate compassion, love, empathy and self sacrifice. When we ply our populace with tools that engender selfishness, I hardly think we should be surprised at the outcome. I believe in our capacity for extraordinary actions, motivated by all the right reasons. However we need role models, we also require enough road rash to become mature, functioning beings. If we primarily seek comfort, and those experiences which only validate our POV, or anything that distracts us from the hard work of becoming fully realized humans, then we remain in an infantilized state. I’m not without hope. When an 11-year-old Black girl can get up in front of thousands of protesters and give a better speech than the President of the United States (who was conspicuously absent, and this is partly why), I most certainly have hope. A LOT of hope.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store