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Stand down shamers

⚠️ WARNING: The Public Shaming is a Civic Virtue gang is always toxic and out in full force at this time. Their tools are barbaric and medieval—from reporting their neighbours to authorities at any opportunity (with hopes of inflicting lasting punishment and harm) to unleashing various forms of slow poisons like the spreading of false and/or exaggerated accusations in an attempt to assassinate the character & reputation of their neighbour. Whether they are out in the streets with a megaphone, publicly shaming others on social media or wagging their tongue on the phone, their effects on a community are resoundingly negative and divisive.

📰 The @hamiltonspectator refers to this rising phenomenon as “one of the most annoying trends” of the pandemic—“busybodies eager to pass judgment on others before they have all the facts.”

👮‍♀️ They’re the “pandemic police” — self-appointed vigilantes who are calling out people—often neighbours who they try and cast as “enemies of the state”—for not strictly adhering to social isolation protocols.

Rather than use this opportunity to police your neighbour and try and transfer the fear or shame or inadequacy you feel onto another—look inward. Focus on what you can do right and how you can help another. And if you are able to help, have some decency and don’t broadcast “what you had to do for so and so” (which really is just another form of public shaming).

Instead of striving to be Citizen Virtuous, strive to be Citizen Compassionate. ❤️ Love your neighbour. After all, we are all in this together.

For more on ways to foster a sustainable culture that supports the democratic ethos in your community, see:

#democracy @hamiltonspec @cancivlib

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