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Letter: We would be better off without the nasty rhetoric

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor
Deseret News

The eminent historian Will Durant wrote a series of 11 histories under the umbrella title "The Story of Civilization." Some of their individual titles are "The Age of Faith," "The Age of Reformation" and "The Age of Revolution." Professor Durant died in 1981 at the age of 96.

If Professor Durant were alive today and writing a history of our time, I wonder what the title of his work would be: "The Age of Angst"? "The Age of Anger"? "The Age of Argument"? or perhaps "The Age of Anarchy"? It seems that every day more and more people are creating occasions to attack, harass or denounce others without a cause or justification.

It seems that everyone has appointed himself or herself judge, jury, smiter and punisher of those that they do not know or will never meet. They feel justified in shaming, shunning and threatening ordinary people for the slightest infraction of some new politically correct code. It is hard to know what not to say anymore. Perhaps if people actually knew their accusers, and if those accusing actually knew the accused, they might find reason to treat one another more kindly instead of always assuming the worst of another.

When a person can operate under a cloak of anonymity, judge information out of context, arrive at a biased and prejudiced opinion and then share that opinion with the world without fear of retribution, he or she has a formula for chaos and mayhem. The remarkable fact is that people will accept the baseless opinion of a total stranger seriously and let it affect their lives instead of considering the source and simply ignoring it.

There is no shortage of ignorance, fear and stupidity in the world. There is no need to add to it. The world would be much better off if, instead of joining the nasty retort contest, we each sought occasion to compliment, encourage and uplift even the strangers that cross our electronic path each day.

Raymond Mayo