The Contagion of Contempt

When we consider someone with contempt, we say that they are beneath our consideration.  Engagement with them is not worth our time.  They receive only our disgust.

And contempt is contagious; as two people pass it back and forth, it grows exponentially.  This is even more true within an in-group, a cultural echo chamber, a tribe, until contempt kills any curiosity or engagement of the other.  These days, particularly in political discussions, contempt for “those people” is on the rise.

Contempt kills our ability to communicate and work for the common good, and so interrupting the contagion of contempt is an act of courage.  This courage begins by naming clearly what we fear and getting close enough to love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s