I beg of you, do not be civil to evil. But that does not mean to be evil yourself, or to become less than who you wish to be. The only thing that truly overcomes evil is beauty.
No, I didn't say that love overcomes evil, because I've seen what love can look like when it has grown out of a cracked or confused heart. Love is not always wise or even good. (The purest core of it is, of course, but I'm writing today in human language, of human experience.) Beauty however is indisputable. Oh, we debate what it might be in regards to a woman's body, but that's not real beauty, is it? Our souls recognise real beauty and our best selves know what it feels like to act in its name.
We are living in dark days. Almost always, people have done so, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't discount this darkness now. Civility will not defeat the evil that squats in America, Syria, North Korea, and so many other places, that shreds our climate, and that hurts the gentle minds of so many people. Our only hope against it is a wild and beautiful incivility.
That means write the tender-hearted or amusing novel. It means share the affirmations, the lovely stories, the inspiring quotes, the moments of good cheer, the frangible truths from your own life, the flowers' scent, the colours of your season.
It also means protest in the streets - but peacefully, with candles and smiles, and clean up your litter afterwards. And speak up against wrongdoing - but without throwing bombs. Stand vigil, singing, outside immigrant camps. Spend your dollar where it can support good not harm. Talk to the troubled teenaged boys. Leave out food for the hedgehogs and small birds.
Do beautiful things with a beautiful spirit. Evil can not grow where beauty is.