I want to talk about “civility” or should I say the lack of it. “Incivility” seems to be prevalent where ever I look these days. I read about it in the paper, it’s all over TV. Respect seems to have gone out the window. It’s as though the Bullies of the world have taken over—Bullies leading gangs of bullies. And it’s causing problems, everywhere. It’s in our schools, our churches, the workplace, our government (city, county, state and federal), it’s in our everyday lives—it touches us all. Kids bullying other kids in school and on line, Facebook and Twitter, until some of the victims become so distressed they commit suicide or grab a gun and shoot up their school. Or a worker is bullied by a boss or fellow workers until she/he quits or goes off the deep-end and comes back to work with a gun. Bullies are pulling political strings to turn the clock back—take us back to segregated schools, divide us into black and white, wipe out the gains that were so painfully made, and paid for with blood and life to overcome the ignorance of racial prejudice; or trying to legislate away the rights of women, the right to vote, do away with social security retirement and medical programs for the elderly, cut off the food stamps and welfare from or poor, hungry and less fortunate folks, split us into two categories—the “Haves” and “Have-nots.” I see more and more people who can’t make it, while a few rake in vast sums of money gained at the expense of many.
I’m not what you would call a religious person, fact is, I don’t believe in organized religion. I do believe in being respectful of another person’s feelings. I do believe in treating others as I would like them to treat me. I don’t believe in turning a blind eye to injustice. I don’t believe in ignoring my neighbors’ plight if I have the means to help in some way. I believe a person should be judged by how they live their lives, their daily deeds—not the color of their skin, not by what church they attend, not by their sexual preference, not by how much money they have, not by their political affiliation. I don’t care what blows your skirt up, as long as it isn’t at the expense of, or harmful to others—especially children. Just don’t try to make me do it if I don’t want to, or if I don’t believe it’s right. If you believe in same sex marriage, that has nothing to do with me; doesn’t affect my marriage. If you want to have an abortion, that is your decision—something you have to resolve personally. It’s none of my business, or your neighbors business, or somebody from a different state that doesn’t know you or your situation. If you don’t want to have children or you want to have a lot of children, that too is up to you, no one else—especially the church.
I’m tired of people disrespecting our president. I’m tired of people disrespecting my neighbors and friends. I’m tired of people getting away with disrespecting anyone that doesn’t believe exactly as they do; doesn’t go to their church, that is born from another ethnicity or that belongs to a different political party. I think it’s time that people stood up and said enough! That means you and I, all of us have to speak up when we witness someone being bullied. Bullies are cowards and if enough people call “B.S.” on them, they’ll back off. When I here a racial slur, or someone verbally maligning someone or a group, I’m going to call them on it—“I don’t appreciate that kind of talk.” I know I’m only one person, but maybe if I stand up and say something, someone else will, and another and another. I know the bullies are in the minority; most people lean toward civility and fair play. But we, the majority, have to step up and be heard. I believe it was John Donne who said, “No man is an island.” We all have a stake in this, it effects us all. And I personally am fed up with the incivility that is permeating our world! I’m tired of the Bullies running things!