I’ve been wondering lately if the world has been flooded by some alien ray that eliminated civility from humankind.
I look at the contention stories permeating the global and even the local press in all regions of the world.
Bombings and hatred in Iraq.
Killings in Majorca.
Nigerian forces clash with extremists – 300 killed.
Taliban plans to disrupt Afghan election.
Riot police in Iran disrupt a graveside rally.
Police and civilians yelling at each other in America.
Talk show hosts calling the President a racist.
Drivers yelling, honking, gesturing to other drivers
It goes on and on.
Wouldn’t you think that all people alive today would have some experience of or observation of hate, prejudice, violence or anger and not like it or want in or near their lives.
The poor attack the poor because they see what they don’t like in others in themselves and can see no way out of what they don’t like.
The rich belittle the rich because others have more or less than themselves and they live under the illusion that success, security and safety is having more.
Republicans criticize Democrats because that’s what those out of power do even though partisanship relinquishes their elected responsibility to seek the greater good for the whole.
Religions contend with other beliefs saying my way is the only way to worship the one God of All That Is.
The old besmirch the young because that’s not the way they did it and they can’t remember their own youthful enthusiasm for the zest of life.
The Young disrespect the elderly because they see their own passage in the old and cannot accept vulnerability and decay.
Race diminishes race because few understand the sacredness of culture, traditions and family is the same for all.
This stuff has been going on since the beginning of humankind.
Perhaps it is just remembering what civility is and then practicing it because it is the right thing to do. It makes you feel good plus you get it back a hundred fold.
I know civility existed once, at least when I was a child. I was taught manners and respect and admonished when I didn’t embrace them.
Our neighbors were known as Mr. and Mrs. You didn’t sass an adult, teachers had the authority of parents, you wrote a thank you note for a gift or a kindness, you dressed up to travel and down to play, you earned the money you needed; you didn’t take it from someone else and you said thank you and no thank you when you were offered something.
I think civility and ethics are one in the same and I define them both as sets of unenforceable values by which we choose to live. Ah…should choose to live.