July 3, 2018

Some 4th of July Courtesy

Shoreline Ampitheater's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
Photo by Dawn Endico [CC BY-SA 2.0]
We live in angry times. Many people now appear to regard those who hold different opinions as their enemies. Hyperbole dominates our discourse. Disagree with me? You're a Nazi! In this environment, some regard basic empathy for others as a weakness, and others have convinced themselves that empathy only applies to those who think like they do. We've even been having a national debate over civility, not so much about how to define it but about whether we even want to maintain it. Needless to say, many of these attitudes are antithetical to humanism and seriously undermine the hope of maintaining a civil society.

And yet, it is important to recognize that there are many decent people out there. They might not always stop to consider how their behavior affects others, but they are capable and often willing to change when they become aware that someone else is being harmed by something they are doing. That is, not everyone who encounters a suggestion that they might change their behavior to accommodate others interprets this as a threat and reacts with hostility.

This message is for these reasonable people. Consider it a 4th of July public service announcement of sorts.
When you're detonating your Independence Day payload, please keep the servicemen in your area in mind. PTSD is serious business. Thank you.

As much as I despise fireworks and would not personally use them, I have to count myself among those who had never thought about their potential impact on Veterans with PTSD until I saw this a few years ago. As far as I'm concerned, this is more than enough of a reason to skip the residential fireworks. And yes, this would be the case even if I really enjoyed fireworks.