2020 was a rollercoaster of a year. The world over went through a global pandemic, economic uncertainties, political and global tensions, and several civil and social protests. Even in the United States, the land of democracy and freedom, we saw a rise in extremist rhetoric, extremist behavior, and violent protests. All of which mounted up to the attack on Capitol Hill, an incident that the whole world watched in horror and disbelief. But 2020 is now in the history books, and 2021 is still unsure of what it is going to pan out to be. Yes, the environment or surroundings of extremism and polarization has died down but the tension still lurks in the background. It’s as any moment could spark a mass social outbreak. The reason why is the increased devotion to certain opinions and beliefs. And the inability for you to break your echo chamber. That is what continues to cause people to sink into their existent social beliefs, and refuse to listen to alternative opinions and mindsets.
That is why civil discourse is the best way to put the first foot forward. Through civil discourse, people can come together and work out the things that have been tearing them apart. Civil discourse can help bridge the gaps between the differences that divide people in a society. That’s why it’s important to practice such civility in a consistent and effective way. If 2020 was difficult, 2021 will be even more difficult if we do not acknowledge the difficulties and try to bridge the differences. There are alternatives to civil discourse. None quite as appealing. For instance, there are more active and violent forms of protest and discourse. History is rich with the example of societies, communities, and cities that have failed at civil discourse and digressed to chaos and corruption.
That is what happens when civility fails, anarchy succeeds. And that is why we need to preach the importance of civil discourse. To make sure that it is practiced when needed. Differences in a society exist and it is only natural that they exist, that they are there. We, as a community, are meant to tackle our differences head-on, not ignore them and allow them to grow the divides between us. We are meant to find common ground, not battlegrounds. And most importantly we need to set aside our beliefs if they’ve proved to be detrimental to the overall benefit of a community or a society.
This is the best way to bridge between what was a tumultuous year in 2020, and what we hope to be a peaceful year in 2021. You need to start by being open-minded, listening to others, and break your echo chamber. This is the only way we have to build a stronger and stable society. Or else, we risk losing it altogether and watching it all fall apart. Building a society is not easy, but it is easier than rebuilding a society.