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Big Idea for 2012: Adults should sign a "no humiliation" pledge

December 12, 2011, 10:40 AM

As we count down to the New Year, Big Think is surveying the ideas that will have the greatest impact in 2012. This idea was suggested by Big Think Delphi Fellow Mitch Horowitz:

What's the Big Idea?

Attention is rightly focused today on the problem of bullying among school kids. Now, a similar -- and more broadly civic -- campaign should be waged among adults. In short, adults should sign a "no humiliation" pledge, vowing not to cross the line in excoriating, shaming, or defaming another person in social media, the workplace, or at home.

What's the Significance?

Consider: In the last ten years the internet has made it possible for everyone to be heard, at least briefly, on a mass scale. From tweets to chat postings, the communiqués are often toxic. What's more, much of our entertainment -- from reality TV shows to Howard Stern to the opening elimination rounds of American Idol -- is based on the grim pleasure of seeing another person get smacked down. Amid this din, no commensurate ethical jurisdiction has arisen, not even a national conversation about standards of behavior.

So before you flame someone, guffaw over the latest reality TV pratfall, or bawl out a coworker, consider signing the pledge. It's within the power of most everyone not to humiliate another individual.

What idea do you think will have the greatest impact in 2012?

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Big Idea for 2012: Adults s...

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