Civil Discourse Might Be Dying

Niki Madore
3 min readFeb 2, 2022

I’ll write a letter

Photo by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

I live in a small town with big hearts, but small minds. Where you could joke that everyone is related to everyone else and it might just be true. Where the world is so small— until, something controversial grasps the entire country and then unresearched opinions turn to gospel.

It takes everything in me to stay quiet because any opinion that was not verified by social media, falls on deaf ears. I am ashamed to say, for this reason, I am contributing to the death of civil discourse and it kills me — so I’ll write a letter that I’ll never send, in hope that someone else will take up the mantle.

Dear fellow community member,

While this is your page and your post, it’s also in the Community Group, for which you are the Administrator and not just a participant, whose rules state that to post, it must be about the area of CKL.

But you are right, this protest is something that affects us all — let’s be honest you could have just posted this to your wall like you suggested we do with our own opinions, but you didn’t.

You put it out into an open forum. Facebook isn’t your living room. It’s a public place. Sure you requested positive comments, but you unknowingly (maybe you did know) shut down an important part of freedom of speech: civil discourse.

Regardless of my opinion of the matter, you let other members share their hate of our prime minister via photographs on the same thread in question, yet you don’t condone hate? F*** Trudeau on a banner, across a truck, is still hate speech, and allowing it as an administrator is condoning it. You cant have it both ways, you are either a participant who follows the rules or the administrator who enforces them”.

I have an actual B.A in Human Rights where I was lucky enough to learn how to think critically and how to perform accurate research to formulate and base my opinions from. I also learned that there is not always a concrete “right” or “wrong” to every situation. How one opinion may fit your beliefs, but might not fit mine— my husband is auto-immune, so I have to take even the common cold seriously.

Furthermore, it terrifies me to draw connections between the stage the world is on now, to the one Hannah Arendt described in the trial of Eichmann. Normal people — your neighbor, your best friend, your mother, a stranger, the storekeeper — all making decisions that they feel are banal but have huge ramifications and not just for their direct community, but for the global community.

Let me be clear: You have choices, but you are not exempt from the consequences of those choices.

No one knew they were on the wrong side of history until it was over. Regardless of what you believe: base your opinions on well-researched, peer-reviewed, accredited sources. Do not settle for someone else's legwork, do your own.

©2022 Niki Madore

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Niki Madore

An avid reader, poet, deep thinker, skier, and occasional skydiver. Always encouraging others to begin their journey to live authentically.