Manners & Kindness {Mindful Monday}

· Manners and kindness will not solve all problems, but these are my suggestions... ·

September 26, 2016 2 Comments

It’s been nearly a week now since the shooting of Keith Scott here in Charlotte and tonight the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be held.

So much of the media, both mainstream and social, has highlighted and detailed the division in America at the moment. And, it somehow feels like this division has been growing and reaching a boiling point, but a part of me feels that this is only partially true.  Maybe this is the pessimistic part of me speaking, but this gross division is nothing new.  Maybe recent events and economical circumstances have eroded the, more or less, composed tolerance we’ve all been exercising towards one another and each others views.  Maybe this perceived composure or tolerance was really just an active avoidance of the difficult issues that are and always have faced our country.  Maybe these polarizing presidential candidates, and subsequent nominees, have forced {or allowed} us to cast away our pretense of civility.  Whatever you choose to believe, I’m personally exhausted by the unprincipled and insensitive dialogue.

I’ve had conversations with people I like and respect, only to leave the encounter feeling almost hopeless. The emotions, especially fears, of people are so elevated, that at times it is difficult to engage in a meaningful dialogue.  Lately, the dominant subject matter has been less about constructive criticism, or possible solutions, than it has been about pointing fingers or playing the “blame game.”

Unfortunately, there seems to be an overwhelming lack of a desire to elevate the language being used to evaluate, discuss, and debate the events and issues we are facing. The lack of civility, kindness, and respect for those with opposing views is appalling.

Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.  Emily Post

Moving forward to accomplish progress does not seem achievable if we are so busy calling out each other’s faults and stubbornly refusing to find a compromise.  The fact is that the state of our world, and society, is changing. It always has been and always will be.  Without accepting that change is inevitable, one forfeits the opportunity to participate in positively constructing that change in a way that is suitable to them. Our efforts are wasted if we are focused on putting things back the way once were. I argue that these energies would be far more useful if dedicated to concession and compromise. But, again, none of this is possible without manners and kindness.

A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Along this vein of thought, I believe that we should always follow the golden rule: “treat others how you would like to be treated.”  Another person’s unacceptable actions or words do not give you free rein to unleash the same on them.  We don’t all have to agree, get along, or even like each other, but I do believe there should be a certain standard by which we all conduct ourselves and treat each other.

gentle

I don’t believe that kindness and manners will solve all our problems.  We have a long way to go before that happens, but these are the suggestions I offer as facilitators to resolution: remember that your opinion isn’t the only one that matters;  try to keep an open mind;  give consideration to what you say and how it is said; and try to find a way to be part of the change instead of a hindrance.

As Ellen DeGeneres says, simply “be kind to one another.”

karma

 

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Paula Kearney

    September 27, 2016

    You have a beautiful soul.

    • Reply

      Rose

      September 27, 2016

      That’s such a nice thing to say! Thank you! 🙂

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