A few days ago, someone stole a planter full of flowers from the condo complex I live in.
Compared to more vital issues currently on the table, this was a minor event indeed.
Still, the theft stung, like a slap in the face, and should be taken note of because individual, mean-spirited acts like this form the foundation of the larger, systemic problems we’re now so actively opposing.
Everyone wants to fix the "system." But the system isn’t a tangible entity politicians and lawmakers can simply regulate into civility. It’s a reflection of all the individuals who make it up. We are the system.
Our attitudes, our values, the way we think – those are hard, perhaps impossible, things to change. What we can and ought to change is the way we behave.
How we treat each other, even in minor things – maybe especially in minor things – is a measure of us all as human beings.
If we really want a civil society, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to practice civility by showing more respect for one another in every aspect of our lives: race, gender, culture, religious belief, and yes, private property.
Chanting slogans, waving banners and demanding more legislation won’t get to the root of what’s wrong.
Whether we like one another or not, whether we agree with each other’s philosophies or not, in order to fix what’s broken, I suggest we need to work on finding better versions of ourselves first. As individuals.