Friday, September 18, 2009

Kanye and Serena and Joe

Dear Good Manners Devotees':

With apologies to those who were looking forward to the pet manners posting I had promised last time I wrote to you, I find that I am compelled, instead, to say something about the very bad manners we've witnessed recently.

Now, Good Manners Fans, I will confess that I am far from perfect. Really.

I have had an explosion or two (or three) in my time when I felt that I was being unfairly treated. I've also felt outrage for a friend or person who may have also been unfairly treated -- and sometimes I've acted on it.

I've felt my blood pressure rise when I feel someone is lying to me or wrong and I don't want that person to get away with it or think that I don't know what the real facts are (please note that I'm not trying to be political here -- just telling you my own personal reactions to situations that I've been in).

Each time that I've felt compelled to react, I've almost immediately been horrified about what I did. I apologize even if I felt I was in the right because the way I handled it was unacceptable.

So let's be honest: Who amongst us, while saying we're appalled at the way Kanye, Serena and Joe acted, hasn't done something similar? Maybe not as big or as over-the-top, but something that just wasn't right?

What if we were in the spotlight when we yelled at our child's soccer coach or became upset with someone at work who completely let us down or told our friends that so and so at the PTO meeting shouldn't have been re-elected because she didn't have a clue about the results of the book drive?

In the very public examples of Kanye, Serena and Joe we're horrified that they thought it was okay to behave that way, and that quite possibly they may feel they can act that way because they are above the rules of behaviour that normal mortals should follow. Whereas in our situations we feel justified. Isn't this a perfect example of "Do as I say, not as I do?"

We should all learn a lesson in civility from the events of the past few days. It's no surprise that the words "civil" and "civility" are all part of the word civilization. Because how we treat each other -- being "civil" or "uncivil"-- will ultimately affect our civilization and world.

I, personally, wouldn't want an outburst at work or the playing field or the PTO meeting to contribute to the downfall of civilization as we know it. Would you?

Heavy stuff and responsibility, I know.

So, until my next cuddly post about pets and manners, I going to do my part to contribute to the good of civilization by working on keeping my temper and keeping my mouth closed!

Best Regards,

Because good manners might just make the world a better place!

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