Sense of Decency

Listening to others, seeing things through their eyes.

“… the only means of fighting a plague is — common decency.”

— Albert Camus, 1947

Sickness surrounds us. It’s more than the physical and emotional assault of the pandemic that afflicts us; we suffer daily under a spiritual assault of conflict with and rejection of those with whom we disagree. The onslaught coarsens us, wears us down, makes us reduce our enemies to something not human, but something to be ridiculed, crushed, and destroyed. And destruction begets destruction and in the end there are no winners.

We’d like to try to change that by offering here a free and respectful discussion of contemporary life, on any subject that shines a light on who we are. Common decency will be the common denominator. By decency, we mean taking the time to listen to others, seeing things through their eyes.

We’ll still disagree. But we will listen to and hear those with whom we disagree and take a moment to think about their interests, their dreams, their desires. Why do they think like that? Why do we think like this? What is it we have in common with all people? How can we move forward?

If we can talk to one another rather than about one another, we may be able to look beyond our faults to find our common virtues and from there move toward a better world for all of us.

More than 65 years ago, Joseph Welch famously asked Senator Joseph McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” Should we ever be asked the same question, we hope to be able to answer in the affirmative.

— Dennis Harrod, 2020

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