How to Resist the Incivility Temptation
(Top Posts - Philosophy (FREELOVER) - 071908)


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I have, for quite a long time, tried to be
an advocate for civility.

However, in all honesty, I must say that
in many instances, when faced with inciv-
ility, my initial instinct has been to react
in a similar manner.

Simply put, by having civility as an ideal,
that's enabled me to resist the temptation
to be incivil in most cases, or to at least
modify my responses to attempt to raise
the level of civility beyond what it would
otherwise be.

Recently, I developed a method of dealing
with that incivility temptation, that being as
follows:

1) Stop sign. Whenever I am having nega-
    tive thoughts towards another or others,
    I use the mental trick of popping up a
    large stop sign, with red flashing lights,
    which stops me from having those nega-
    tive thoughts. Simply put, recognizing
    the risks/dangers there, I simply choose
    to stop that negative emotional process,
    turning it off. Sometimes, when the temp-
    tation is strong, I must use the stop sign
    multiple times.

2) Recognizing anti-humanism towards any-
    one not me as enemies of me, recognizing
    that eliminating those in my own heart and
    mind, whether they be the anti-humanism
    of Hatred or the anti-humanism of Anger
    or whatever other anti-human instinct pops
    up, recognizing those are enemies that can-
    not be allowed to exist in myself, that noth-
    ing good can come from allowing *any*
    anti-humanism to exist within myself,
    doing my best to make sure they're not
    around in my head or heart.

3) Trying to be positive towards a person
    who provided the stimulus that resulted
    in '1' and '2' above, recognizing our com-
    mon humanity, recognizing the resultant
    nature of all that happens, knowing that
    were I in another's shoes, I would, like
    them, be having the same results that
    that they are having, knowing that only
    by being pro-human can I maximize the
    odds, however slim they may be, that
    another or others can escape whatever
    anti-human temptations they've been
    unable to escape thus far.

    In any case, recognizing the good that
    comes from pro-humanism, recognizing
    that pro-humanism is not something other
    people earn, it is, instead, something that
    I can choose to give, it's my *choice*, that
    is both compelling and empowering.

I've had great success, thus far, in utilizing
'1' and '2'. Step '3' is the most challenging,
and thus far I've had the most success with
it from an intellectual standpoint, with logic
and reason offering compelling reasons to
utilize it. However, when mired in the quick-
sand of deeply felt hurt or pain, it can be
quite difficult to achieve as much pro-human-
ism as I aspire to, and I hope to improve in
that area, with practice. This very post, that
last paragraph above, I feel that has been
helpful, and I feel, at this moment, closer
than I've ever been to my goal.

Thanks. Of course, I won't know if I'm bet-
ter at '3', really, until faced with a challeng-
ing situation, but right now, I do feel I've
improved at that.

Any suggestions you, or anyone else, might
have, regarding step '3', would be welcome.

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