Civility

I wrote this post before the dreadful attack on Republican Representatives during a practice between them and Democratic representatives. This is an annual fundraising baseball game event. At a time when these two groups seldom work together, for the attack to come when they were working together seems more horrifying. 

I’ve revised quite a bit. 🙂 Words have power, folks. You don’t have to look far to see examples of terrible results from someone’s senseless and hurtful words. The recent story of the young man who had been egged on to commit suicide makes my heart ache for the pain this kid endured.

What I originally wrote had to do with people responding to “Thank you” with their own “Thank you” rather than saying “Your welcome.” Given what happened on Wednesday, this issue has fallen to less than insignificant.

And the following seems even more important.

The incivility we see every day on TV on talk shows and on interview and in hearings with  people talking over each other is rude and something I was taught was not polite.

What’s your definition for “Civility?

My computer Thesaurus suggests words that have a similar meaning. Here they are:

Politeness   Courtesy   Courteousness   Respect

Graciousness   Good Manners

The antonym is Rudeness.

Tripping over assumptions

Every time I’ve assumed, I’ve messed up.

 Let Peace Begin with me.

What the heck happened to the “old school” rule not to talk when someone else is talking?

Can we not take turns? Wouldn’t we be able to hear and understand each other better?

Think of “The Talk” or “The View” or any Sunday morning Political Show? People talk and shout over each other all the time. To the point, that I don’t watch the first two shows anymore.

And name calling is used only when the person doing that doesn’t believe in the strength of their logical arguments. It’s used to put down someone. I always explained to kids that those using that tactic feel really bad about themselves and put down others to make themselves seem bigger.

There have been several times in my own life when I’ve been involved in heated discussions. I’m fairly passionate about things I believe in and don’t mind speaking up.

I remember a time at a meeting when one man stood up, interrupted me while I was speaking, and shouted at me. Was his behavior intimidating? You better believe it.  Then others jumped in and it became a real Donny Brook. Well, no blows were thrown, but words flew back and forth across the table. The sad thing is that kind of behavior really stifles most people and prevents them from being comfortable speaking out. Better decisions are made when everyone gets a chance to be heard.

Words can slice

The behavior only stifled me for that meeting but even today I won’t talk over someone. If several people are talking over each other, I back off. (Remember, I don’t watch the two TV shows anymore.)

I can disagree completely with someone’s position on issues. I can think they live in an alternative universe, but it is never okay for me to call names or to use violence to express myself.

What kind of role models are adults being with this rude behavior? How do we expect our kids to use “good manners” when many people they see in the media are calling names, shouting, and belittling? I believe we’ve got to be able to talk to and LISTEN to each other. Nothing is ever solved with intimidation. I’m sure I’m going to have to deal with this issue in a future book.

 Listen

What are your thoughts about this? Am I just too “old school” and I need to get on board with this newer way of attempting to communicate?  And what do we do to turn around this, what I think is, destructive behavior.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me praying for those involved in Wednesday’s shooting. Love to hear from you.

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6 responses to “Civility

  1. It’s an important subject, Marsha. And a complicated one. The lack of civility in the legal profession has been a focus of a lot of activity for some time – ask Bob about the Dondi decision from the 5th Circuit.

    You’re right: it does seem as though it’s getting worse – and has been for a couple of decades. While it’s a multi-faceted problem, I sometimes wonder if the Internet doesn’t play a role. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a Luddite and I believe that instant, unlimited access to information and communication is (or can be) a technological blessing. But it may also be the basis of a gnawing sense of powerlessness.

    Nietsche argued that the “will to power” was the basis for most, if not all, human action – that is, the desire to exercise some sort of dominance. While I don’t believe that human behavior can be reduced to a single motivation, I think he may have been onto something.

    The Internet can make you feel as if you are interconnected with the world or it can make you feel pitifully insignificant, powerless, and as a result, fearful. Generalized fear can manifest as unfocused anger. And if you’re just mad at the world, it’s easy to lash out at someone – anyone – who disagrees with you.

    Like I said, it’s a complicated problem and I know this doesn’t explain it all. It may be a factor, though. What to do about it is a completely different issue – one that I believe involves every aspect of our lives and social structure. At the base, though, it requires inculcation of the fundamental belief that, no matter what, no matter how profound our differences, we are all in this together. We have to start acting like it.

    Sorry for rambling. Great post – gets the blood moving through the brain. Thanks.

    Dan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, Dan. Good comments, and you’re right, the subject is much deeper than can be addressed in a 30-minute TV show, much less a soundbite.
    I was watching the news last night and the reporters kept repeating the word Civility, which I had titled this post. The third time I heard it, I thought, yikes, I need to massage the message a bit. The man probably didn’t think about how his actions would worsen his cause. I pray we won’t see a backlash in a similar fashion. Thanks so much for stopping by.

    Like

  3. Hi, Marsha and I agree. I will not watch a program where people yell and shout at each other. The faux drama is just that: faux. It’s purpose is to hook the viewer into watching more and thus, more exposure to advertising. I could say something about politics; however, that is something I keep to myself. I do tend to hide posts on FB if someone spews stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Vicki. Good point about the advertising. Hadn’t thought about that. I just read someone’s FB post today and he was angry and using the F-word all over. When did that become something that was done in polite society? Humm. Maybe FB isn’t polite society. Never thought of that before. I do know that the more you hear “bad words,” the less you notice them. Unfortunately, we apparently are able to get used to anything. Yeah, I’ve hidden a number of posts that to me were inappropriate. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

      Like

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