A new blog category examining how our lack of civility today is causing horrendous harm. And perhaps what we can do in our own tiny worlds to make our big world more kind.
My mother and father, decades ago, taught me, more by example than word, to be polite, to say “Thank you” and “I’m sorry.” To give others the benefit of the doubt. To be KIND. I most definitely HAVE NOT always lived up to their instructions, but I always harbored them (instructions and parents) in my mind and heart.
My folks have passed away now.
I am beginning to fear that maybe common civility and etiquette (two of kindness’s offspring) have passed away as well.
Recently watching Ketanji Brown Jackson garnering enough votes in the Senate to become the first black woman ever to become a justice on the Supreme Court in its nearly 250 year history, I was shocked, embarrassed, appalled to see the Republican side of the aisle get up and walk stoically, rudely out of the chamber after the tally had been announced.
Political and ideological side-ings aside, what has happened to common courtesy? Jackson won enough votes to be seated. Why not at least applaud (even if with gritted teeth) the historic First Time Ever?
At this year’s supposedly celebratory Oscars, Chris Rock and Will Smith … well, you know.
At nearly every red light (at least here in Savannah), you DO NOT start to drive forward when the light turns green. Even though, as I learned in kindergarten, green means go. Why not, for heaven’s sake? Because folks now keep speeding, barreling through the red light for five, ten seconds after the light changes. That early greenness at traffic lights has now become Guillotine Green.
Controversial House of Representatives member Marjorie Taylor Greene (from my Georgia) insanely screeches for Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten to stay out of girls’ bathrooms! What? Huh?
President Biden hot-mike-ly refers to a Fox News correspondent as a “stupid SOB.”
Trump …. Don’t get me started.
The other day, Yankees fans throw debris at Cleveland Guardians outfielders at game’s end.
WHAT IS GOING ON?
Are we so politically, culturally, ideologically separated that common courtesy, simple kindness, and for-the-good-of-all common sense have left the room?
Are we in such a hurry to “Get There!” that we will risk our lives and the lives of others (even our babies in child seats as I saw recently) to risk it through the Green Guillotine?
Is Simple Kindness sliding down the hierarchy of Best Human Practices?
I hope not. But I just don’t know. This blog category examines those questions.
Suggestion For This Moment: I encourage you to set forth a little INTENTION to simply pay more ATTENTION to how you treat other people in your life TODAY. Family at home. Coworkers. Folks on the street, in nearby cars, at the checkout line, etc. Just try to bring AWARENESS to the dynamics of your human connections for the rest of this day. I will too.