Eyes on a phone and pods in your ears—have you no sense of community? You have detached from the reality around you, which is a subtle rebuff of your fellow citizens. You enter your own world. When Leonardo and Dr. Einstein entered their own worlds they encountered richness, a fierce originality that ultimately benefited all. Is that what you encounter?

You must have a sense of community! Take part, be part, see and hear. Share responsibility. Stop assuming everyone will work their way around you. That is the summoning of a calamity you will deserve.

You must come to understand that other people can hear you on the cellphone in confined public spaces such as the elevator. You must come to understand: Other people have a right not to hear your sound. They have a right not to hear your grating voice, your huffy exchanges that convey the banality of your interests, all of which, on a bad day, when spirits are low, can make those around you want to ruffle in their purse for a pistol with which to shoot themselves in the head.

It might be better if you were instead “there”—to make brief eye contact and nod, as if you are human beings on earth together. At the very least, understand you should delay the call until the elevator doors open.