Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Mind Your Manners
I must be showing my age. It seems as if there isn't a week that goes by when I'm not grousing about the lack of civility in our society today. From the rancorous political environment to rude media pundits to reports of cyber-bullying to uncivil gestures from road-raged drivers, I wonder what has happened to us. As much as I benefit from technology, I believe it is a reason for our incivility. With the advent of email, texting and the like, we have become less personal in our communication, which I believe has opened the door to stating things you normally wouldn't say in person or even over the telephone because you're shielded by the cloak of remoteness and even anonymity. Our rapidly changing technological advances have turned us into an instant-gratification society where patience is allowed to run thin. What lessons are we teaching our children when we aren't kind, polite, patient or respectful, especially with those whose opinions may differ from our own? How do we find common ground in an increasingly divisive society? I think we take responsibility for our own actions, demonstrating that our differences can be addressed respectfully without succumbing to low behavior. Perhaps it's as simple as practicing patience, thinking before speaking, trying to understand the other point of view, and, best of all, minding your manners.