As I walk through life, doing my thing and intermingling with others on a daily basis, I am constantly amazed at how impolite, unfriendly, and downright crude people have become. Granted, I am older and grew up in a time when manners and respect for others were taught at home and school so you would know how to function within a civilized society. But damn. What happened to civility? Where did it go?
Just this week I was standing in line at the grocery store and a twenty-something guy was carrying on a conversation with someone on the phone using his hands-free, blue-tooth ear piece. Of course the entire conversation was shared with myself, the checkout clerk, five others in line behind him and anyone within a fifteen foot hearing radius. Now this wasn’t just a normal phone conversation. He was loud, used the crudest of vulgarities, in a public place, and he could care less if anyone heard him or was offended by how he was talking. He carried on the conversation while checking out and was still talking as he was walking out the door. I’m sorry, but that is not civil.
Another example is the Westboro Baptist Church group that goes around the country protesting at fallen soldier’s funerals. I cannot imagine what purpose would justify anyone protesting at a funeral, much less a church group. There are family and friends there grieving for someone close to their heart that they have lost while serving their country. I’m sorry, but that is not civil.
While I can probably fill a book with more examples, I think these will do.
It appears that tolerating rude behavior, displays of anger, disrespect, inconsideration, nastiness, foul language, exposed underwear and butt cracks, etc., etc., has become the new civility. This whole new paradigm of this is “my space” and I have “my rights” to do as “I want”, without any consideration or respect for others is just wrong. I’m sorry, that is not civil.
We live in a society, and societies are supposed to have guidelines for participation and behavior. Obviously, we have reached this level of decline in civility because somewhere along the timeline parents stopped teaching manners at home; schools stopped disciplining and started tolerating bad behavior; media started popularizing and rewarding bad behavior; and on, and on…
Now imagine all the people raised with this type of civility. What are they going to teach their children?
Civility. Where did it go and how do we get it back?