our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people

“If anything characterizes the 21st century, it’s our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people,” said James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Rutgers University.  “The cellphone talker thinks his rights go above that of people around him, and the jammer thinks his are the more important rights.”

New York Times, 4 November 2007 

I love etiquette, because it enforces the golden rule and creates grace in human discourse.

But in a world where people think they have no obligation to put themselves out for the benefit of community, where they value their comfort and desires above shared space, isn’t the person who attempts grace at severe disadvantage?

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