Just An Observation: When did being civil become the exception, not the norm

With Alberta experiencing the harshest provincial election ever, we examine society’s attitude change

I believe it’s time to address the tremendously large and continuing to grow elephant in the room — the lack of civility left in society.

From the constant barrage of negative campaigning in the current provincial election (which is thankfully halfway to being over) to parents issuing not so veiled threats to sports officials both young and old as well as right now to people being overly concerned with matters that don’t concern them simply because they feel slighted or it may hurt their own interests.

It used to be that even politicians followed somewhat of a code of conduct on the campaign trail where they attacked the policies and plans of their opposition’s party — not the actual candidate.

More and more often, it’s more manure being slinged than it is the mud as in past elections. Simply debating policy or what the differences are has been left in the dust as the race for power moves forward, all the while pushing others off the side of the cliff or running them over just to get to the front.

Unfortunately, this is just one consequence of a much bigger problem that has — not so quietly either — crept into today’s society right around the globe.

Civil or civility has seemingly been tossed aside by many of the billions of people that live on this planet.

Defined as — courtesy; politeness; a polite action or expression; adhering to the norms of polite social intercourse; not deficient in common courtesy — it doesn’t occur as often nowadays as one might expect.

Doors are suddenly closing as you walk past someone going the other direction.

People either walking or driving always seem to be in a hurry for no particular reason.

Some people tend to feel it’s their privilege or ‘right’ to say whatever they want, whenever they want, without having to face any consequences and then spout off about being ‘denied their right’ if they get called on the carpet for it.

Meanwhile, there are other individuals that believe their word is the sole view that others should follow wholly because people should listen to them.

Those are just examples from the tip of the iceberg.

Whether it is the ‘me first’ movement or merely the concept that many have decided it isn’t worth their time or these individuals think they have some sort of power, it’s really a sad state much of this world has climbed down into.

Can it change?

Altering the situation will take a lot of time, probably just as long as it took for the currently used manners — or lack thereof — to be developed.

The first two things people need to do is stop spouting off in public about how offended one is about anything that they don’t agree with, while others need to learn that just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean it has to be pushed into the face of others merely because you want to express yourself — usually on social media.

In addition, be courteous to the views of others and realize the phrase “agree to disagree” is the polite way to deal with and end a discussion instead of degrading each side through hateful speech or personalized insults. If more people did this or just walked away before getting into a heated argument, maybe there would be less violent clashes at otherwise peaceful protests.

Another method people need to employ is maybe try being happy with who you (and your family) are and do what you can to improve or change your situation without laying blame on the rest of society or a portion of it. It’s not going to do anything except rile up people and generate a negative narrative instead of making someone feel better.

Lastly, but certainly not close to the final thing, maybe start to do some of the little things that would make others feel a tiny bit better during a part of their day.

Hold a door that extra second, pay it forward when someone does that extra thing for you, step away from arguing with others especially over something trivial, use the zipper merge more and quite frankly just take life a bit more slowly.

Here’s a couple of famous phrases to dwell on — “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” and “I get knocked down, but I get up again, You are never gonna keep me down.”

Follow the principles behind these and you’ll likely make those changes for the better.

But that is…just an observation.

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