This post first ran in February. I honestly didn’t think the election dialogue could get worse. I was very wrong. What’s happened to civility? Here it is again, but with some needed edits.
Mother always said if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything.
Designing Women’s Julia Sugerbaker said if you can’t say something nice about someone, come sit next to me.
In today’s political climate, it seems to be required to say nasty things, especially if there is no basis in fact. Say it loud. Say it with an air of arrogance. Say it with a smirk on your face and look right in the camera. And it seems, say with no regard for vulgarity, lewdness, or harm to others.
Learningmind.com is an interesting website that considers all kinds of thought-provoking ideas. When I ran across one of the site’s posts about human behavior, I thought it most appropriate for these scary political times. Here are some thoughts from Learning-mind.com:
Interesting facts about human behavior.
- People with high levels of testosterone get pleasure from the anger of others.
- People with low self-esteem tend to humiliate others.
- People sincerely believe their negative opinions about others are truthful and have no connection with them.
- People tend to commit immoral acts or do not fulfill someone’s request for help if no effort is needed and they do not have to face that person directly.
- Lying takes a lot of mental effort. So as a result, a liar uses simple sentences and finds it more difficult to cope with mental tasks.
And (need I even have to say this?) talking—boasting—about sexual assault isn’t cool. Funny. Harmless. Or just “locker room talk.”
Anyone coming to mind???
There’s room for disagreement in every situation. Discussion and compromise are what made this country, and many others, great. We don’t have to agree on anything.
But couldn’t we keep the conversation civil?
Couldn’t we agree that at the end of the day, we need to work together for the greater good?
It sure seemed like we used to know how to do that. As boomers and beyond, we remember that it’s never been easy to bring people together. I wasn’t around then, but I’m sure there were many people who didn’t like what Franklin Roosevelt did, but they agreed something major needed to be done during the Great Depression. The Cold War was a volatile challenge that sparked lively debate. Every political figure has his or her fans and detractors.
But it just seems that in the past, there was a realization that what mattered was the outcome…the people’s welfare.
Not any one person’s ego.
Not any one person’s religious beliefs.
People change. Times change. We live in a very different society, one where everything a public figure says or does is immediately in front of us. I just wish that rather than that causing the worst to be out there all the time, the opposite would happen.
Maybe think a little more about what you say. Actually check the facts (no, not Fox “news”, not a liberal website, not Facebook.) Investigate. Ask questions. Give it some consideration. Invite a discussion.
Respect those who do not agree with you IF they deserve your respect.. Do not blindly follow someone after they have offended a religion, women, those with disabilities, other cultures, or any other group. Distance yourself and fast.
I so hope cooler minds prevail and the hatefulness that seems to be filling the airwaves dies down to a whisper. We’re all in this together. Let’s remember every thought that comes in our mind does not have to come out of our mouths.
Maybe we can’t stop others from being rude and loud.
But we can stop listening. And we don’t have to follow.
“Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”