Hi Alexandra. I find Marcus Aurelius Meditations 2.1 helps.

1. Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet to-day inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill. But I, because I have seen that the nature of good is the right, and of ill the wrong, and that the nature of the man himself who does wrong is akin to my own (not of the same blood and seed, but partaking with me in mind, that is in a portion of divinity), I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of upper and lower teeth. To work against one another therefore is to oppose Nature, and to be vexed with another or to turn away from him is to tend to antagonism.

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Marcus Aurelius, that's exactly what I thought of myself!

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Although I think civility is a virtue on the personal level, I do not believe it can be reasonably applied to entire nations or societies. The realist political tradition, as taught by the likes of Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Hobbes, is much more useful to explain and navigate international relations.

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Thank you for this interesting reflection !

I would like to add something; I study psychology and obviously come across the necessity for people to find a reason for which they have to go through suffering. Well, most of the time there is no obvious reason. And also, very often, the thing that helps people through their most difficult time is the following : virtue.

Being able to virtuously go through suffering can be a very carrying goal when all the other reasons or motivations fall off. Here is what we can tell ourselves : I will prove God, or I will prove humanity, or myself, that it is possible to go through life with virtue. And civility is virtue.

I bet people who reflect like Machiavel does don't realize how vital for themselves it can be to be respectful and careful towards other people. Maybe they will realize it when they will face how meaningless their pursuit of money is.

I apologize for the english mistakes, hope my thought is understandable.

I wish you all a good day !


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It is time to declare for civility. Treat others as you would be treated.

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Great post! Insightful, and true. Thank you!

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