Tag Archives: civility

When Adults Sound Like Preschoolers, Nobody Wins

temper tantrum goodLucy, the three-and-a-half year old granddaughter whom we are raising, has entered another willful phase. She tests (“NO!”), she wheedles “PLEEEEZ?”), and she whines (“MA-ma, I want a COOK-ie”).  It is exhausting to be her parent right now, but we see progress, and we know that the goal of forming her character is worth the inconvenience of disciplining her on the spot.

Impulse control is hard for preschoolers. Disappointment is tough for them to handle. They say what they think without editing. They lash out in anger when they are thwarted. I understand that–it’s partly the age, and partly raw human nature which simply needs to be tamed and taught.

But what is only to be expected in a three-year-old is singularly unattractive in a twenty-something. I found that out this week. Continue reading

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The Expectation of Civility (VIDEO)

Not that long ago, we discussed basic civility in today’s society and what happens when it’s no longer quite so “basic”. I mentioned then that I’d had it beaten into me (figuratively speaking, …for the most part) practically from birth: we were simply held to an expected level of behavior, and there was no excuse for falling below it. Ever.

happy face 3The word to focus on is “expected”. We were expected to be civil: to be courteous and respectful, as well as helpful, kind, and generous with our time.

It was a non-negotiable aspect of my parents’ world.

Fast-forward to today, where such thinking is in woefully short supply. Today, I can go into a store and no longer count on receiving great service, …or even particularly good service. Sure, excellence is still around (I submit that the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain is one of the best and friendliest, anywhere), but it is no longer the expectation it once was: it’s increasingly the exception.

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And Did You Hear the One About…?

…the Seattle man who allegedly punched a ten-year-old for being too noisy in the movie theater?   I have to admit, I’ve been sorely tempted to tell off giggling, talking, texting, romping young people in the theater…but surely there are other ways to redress such a relatively trivial grievance?

For instance:  After making one civil request of the offending party, if they do not comply, what about informing theater personnel?  Or simply moving to other seats?

I realize that these things are inconvenient (hmm, there’s that word again), but the fracas that resulted in Yong Hyun Kim spending a night in jail was a bit more costly than the price of his movie ticket, even if you add a tub of buttered popcorn and a large soda.

Mr. Kim and the nurse from JTR’s post yesterday have something in common, it seems:  their inability to apply the Golden Rule.  Remember this one, boys and girls?

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