Are We Still Civil?

I have seen a few things recently on the news and on talk shows that stunned me and made me wonder if we are still a civil society.  Or if we have become so indifferent to each other and just don’t care.  I am curious what you my readers, friends, families, and people I don’t know think about this issue..

On one talk show, a video was shown of four teenagers watching another person struggle in a lake and eventually drown.  They did absolutely nothing but film what was happening and make fun of this person.  So a person died who didn’t need to.  Shocking and very troubling.

A young women texted her guy friend and talked him into killing himself after he reached out to her that he wasn’t sure about doing so. She was found guilty for this and has been sentenced to prison.  In addition to her punishment, I hope she will receive some counseling.  To me, it seems she does need it.

A young women was driving her car and texting, had an accident where her sister flew out of the car and was killed, and she did nothing but record it on her phone. This driver was very distracted and this tragedy was the result.  I was stunned at this as well.

I am not blaming social media, texting, or our obsession with selfies, but we have to remember there are times when we should put down the phone and help others.  There are times and places for our phones, our texts, our pictures, and our videos.  And then there are times when people in the real world need us and I for one think, we need to pay attention.

I grew up at a time when pictures were taken on film in actual cameras.  We had to wait until 24 or 36 photos were taken before we could take the film to the store to be developed.  So, my time as a teenager didn’t include recording each and every thing I did all day and night.  Yes, I am that old.  LOL!

The idea of having a way to stream and record everything in my day is foreign to me.  However, I know it is a way of life for many young people and adults as well.  I just hope that we can be smart about it, be kind about it, and be willing to put it down if our loved ones or others need our help.

Another thing that bothers me about our civility is all of the foul language and behavior that many adults and our leaders are displaying these days. Threatening others is not the way to solve problems, cussing at each other doesn’t seem to help anything, bullying others, and continuing to be rude and not consider each other are also wrong.

You see, I have a son who is almost 10 years old. He listens to and learns from adults.  He models the adults’ behaviors and sometimes attitudes. Thankfully he has learned to be kind and caring.  But he still has many years until he becomes an adult.  I want him to continue to grow into a loving adult.  Let’s face it, some of us are not to be learned from.  Instead we are to be labeled what not to do and how not to act.

I want those of us who have children to teach them that each and every life matters, whether it is someone who you know and like or not.  People are not to be bullied, threatened, hated, or ridiculed.  People have value and are important and are to be treated with dignity and kindness.  We should encourage each other, not tear each other down.

It truly takes a village of families, friends, churches, youth groups, schools and teachers, coaches, band and chorus teachers, pack leaders, and others to teach our children.   My family is blessed to have a community, teachers, and a village of people who care for Ian, who want the best for him, and are teaching him good values and life skills.

Among them is his school where each morning the kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  After that they recite a school pledge, which is amazing and teaches the students to decide to behave, and to be kind and considerate of each other.  I like it so much that I have memorized it.

It is, “We are here to learn with our school family.  There is a respect here that you can clearly see.  We are truthful, trustworthy, and listen actively. Giving no put downs, I promise to do my personal best as I work and learn today and everyday.”  Isn’t that great?  I think we as adults could benefit by reciting that each day and deciding to be a good and kind person.

I am heart-broken that those young people who I mentioned at the beginning of the blog may not understand that they did anything wrong.  They may not get that someone else was suffering while they were making fun of, threatening, or being indifferent to others.  Isn’t that sad and something we should change?

We cannot be there every time someone else needs us, but perhaps we could watch out for each other, lend a hand, and call 911 when someone is in peril.  Civility is still alive and well in many places and with many people.  I am just sad that I keep seeing and hearing so much negative, so much abuse, hatred, and violence.

My hope and prayer is that we can teach children, teens, and adults to be kind, to be compassionate, to be considerate of others, to not judge others, to be helpful, to be willing to stand up for each other, and to always, always love.

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