Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Let's Put the "Civil" Back into Civilization

Is it just me or is society a much colder and crueler place now than in years gone by? The recent report of a college student killing himself after a video of him in a compromising act became public is just one more example of how I think society is deteriorating. Increasingly, it seems more school children are reporting being bullied at school; more violent crimes are being committed and, evidently, disagreeing without resorting to angry taunts is a fast-fading social skill. Perhaps it is just me, but even driving on the highway seems to prompt confrontations over who has right of way, how long is a legal stop at a stop sign, and what exactly is a red light. One wouldn't have to wait very long in any city to hear horns blaring, see fingers flying, or watch a driver pounding his or her steering wheel while expressing a nasty opinion about the driver in front. Even churches have become the target of hate through vandalism or arson.

Religion, politics, and sexual orientation are hot buttons in today's world. I sometimes wonder about people's reactions to things. Economically, of course, times are tricky, but haven't we faced crushing financial crises in the past? Sure, there are terrorist freaks who threaten regional or global peace by appropriating religion as an excuse for their wanton bloodbaths, but haven't there always been zealous fanatics and related struggles in the past? And what of the proliferation of gratuitous sexual behavior and display of all types? Contemporary man has no corner on that market. Though, the worldwide visibility and access of it surely is beyond that known to earlier generations.

Is there no hope? Are we doomed to continue a headlong spiral down the porcelain convenience?

I think not. I think as guys we have the ability to change the downward societal spiral one person and one family at a time. Guys, we have influence, especially in our families. How we handle our finances, our anger, and our treatment of our neighbor does impact our families, our co-workers, and our communities. From which sports team we cheer for, to the type of car we drive, we influence the next generation. How often have you heard, "We are a Ford family" or "I will only drive a Chevy"? We even influence the drinks our family puts in the fridge. If we drink Coca-Cola, our children likely will too.

So perhaps it's as simple as each of us, individually, making a commitment to be civil to one another. We do not have to give up our religion or politics. We do not have to agree on everything, nor do we have to compromise. But maybe we just have to treat others with respect and dignity.

What do you think? (Don't you like it how I asked you for your opinion?)


Jakob said...

Thank you for your blog. You are right. We Christians can set the tone for our families and four people with whom we come in contact. Our Lord has given us the Spirit of His Son. He works in and through us to communicate the love and care of our heavenly Father for all people, no matter how difficult they may be (cf. love your enemies, pray for them that hurt you).

Sonnee Wilson said...

We have a million messages a day zooming at us, from billboards, phone calls, weather reports, texts, emails, voice mails, commercials, business signs, airplane banners, sales people, tweets, IM’s, stop lights, pop ups, banner ads, business cards, birthday cards, YouTube, TV, On Demand, Wii’s, PSP’s, PS3’s, DSi’s, and the lost art of normal face-to-face conversations. How do we juggle all this sensory information and still be sane? Are we angrier or more distracted?