Recently on “Morning Joe” someone started a conversation about how society has become so coarse, rude, vicious, aggressive, and even impolite. What a surprise! Many of us have noticed this for years – crude language in music, road rage, random violence increasing on the streets. We even have a man who admits in his own words to sexually harassing women as our President. So someone suggested maybe we need to start teaching courtesy, kindness, and manners to the next generation in order to improve America and its politics.
I was amazed that these talking heads were just realizing that if we don’t practice what we preach, people don’t respond well and children don’t learn. It did remind me though that I need to constantly lecture myself that when someone is aggressive on the road I shouldn’t allow myself to get angry. I should take another deep breath and think of something positive and go forward. This is especially hard for me with cyclists who ride in the middle of the road and slow everyone down. I want to scream and yell and honk at them and curse them for their rudeness – especially when there is a perfectly usable bike path. Therefore, I resolve to immediately restrain myself and keep my blood pressure down.
Since I work at home I don’t have a lot of interaction with strangers unless I am driving to the horse or eating out. But I will also try to remember to hold open doors for strangers and say hello to anyone I see while walking the dog.
Small steps but if everyone started thinking more about others, perhaps our entire society might start thinking that we can work together even if we have different opinions and backgrounds. The anger that courses through so much of our citizens just tends to breed more anger and violence. All the major religions teach the equivalent of, “Do unto others as you would have done to you,” but much of the world seems to have forgotten that lesson.
Morning Joe has reminded me to think about practicing graciousness, politeness, and kindness as much as possible. If nothing else, it will help me stay healthy by keeping me thinking positive thoughts not negative ones.