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Whatever happened to our civil society?  Or did we ever have one?  

The question arose in my mind as my friend watched one of those daytime TV shows where the worst of humanity blares across the screen.  People yelling & shouting at each other while the audience cheers.  The basest of humanity sprawled across the screen for anyone to see.  You know, the Dr. Phil’s, Montel and others who make a significant living encouraging folks to demean each other in the name of ‘entertainment‘.

And TV isn’t the only place where brutal humanity takes on it’s own for what seems - just the fun of it.

Last week, I wrote a post at our CONNECTION STATION about cyberbullying.  It was prompted by many things, not the least of which is the trial of a “mature” woman in Missouri for intimidating & “bullying” a 13 year-old girl via My Space.  The young woman eventually committed suicide.

What happened to the concept of treating each other with dignity & respect?  Have we reverted to the ‘pit’ of human interaction where we treat each other with snarling words that cause pain and heartache for the timid. . .let alone those who are heartier but still capable of being wounded?

As I look around at the world, especially the social media world, I see so much lack of respect for the thoughts & opinions of others.  We see it in film, TV, on radio and in our living rooms.  We hear it around the table in restaurants and even in church. It seems we can’t say kind words for fear of being viewed as “weak“.  I guess kindness doesn’t “sell“.  That’s one of the reasons I like some of the programming on the Hallmark channel. . . at least life still has a pleasant side there.

I’m always amazed at what “sells“.  The “View” (ugh), Oprah and others who’ve made boo-coo bucks romping around on couches or hidden behind a table who have little or no real talent. . but seemed to be at the right place at the right time.  No disrespect for those who like those shows, but in so many instances now, real talent doesn’t “sell“.  It appears that “disrespect” and downright “ravings” is what gets an audience and sells Cialis to a crowd that gathers round to watch.

I long for a return to civil conversation with a committment to “agree to disagree” in quiet tones that raises the level of public (and private) discourse to a higher plane of human behavior.  We can, you know, behave as mature folks even when we are at opposite ends of the conversational ‘pole‘.

So my ‘rant’ is for civil society to return.  Return to the airwaves, cyberspace & to our dining room tables.  Return to wherever it is that we congregate.  And that when emotions get too hot to handle. . . the good sense to walk away.

Ah, I hope it isn’t too late!

Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Nov 24, 2008
    • Linda, my husband and I were talking about this the other day. What is so frightening to us is that our youth is getting desensitized to brutality, violence and disrespect. There seems to be a sense of spiriling out of control and a virtual free for all.

      I made a decision to stop watching the national news. I was tired of trying to pick the actual news out of the arguing among the “expert panelists.” It’s really sad.

      I, however, will never cease being nice for fear of appearing weak. The kind and nice ones of the world, you are included in that group; I believe there are still enough of us left to make a difference.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda S Fitzgerald wrote Nov 24, 2008
    • Chocolatier,

      I hope you are correct - that there’s enough of us left!  I too have ceased to watch the news.  I had my fill of it during the way-too-long pre-election cycle.  I listen to conservative talk radio in the car and read my AOL news each morning. . .that’s all I can take.  And yes, the truth in the news if like searching for a needle in the haystack.

      Thanks for you thoughtful response!

      Linda



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Nov 24, 2008
    • Linda, great post.

      I hope that if we continue to remind everyone in cyber space that the same rules apply on the screen as it is off the screen, and those people that do not follow the rules of conduct will be kicked off the sites and explicitly explained that bullying and ridiculing others will not be tolerated our children and grand children will have a chance.

      As for the media and the news....don’t even get me started...

      Have a fantastic week.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Peejay64 wrote Nov 24, 2008
    • AMEN, ladies!!!!

      May we each be “a light shining in a dark place“.

      Peace,

      Patti



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linda S Fitzgerald wrote Nov 24, 2008
    • Amen, Yana.  It would equally not be a great idea to get me started when it comes to the media/news.  Just give me 2 hours last night of “24” and I can go to bed happy!  BTW - Jack Bauer & company were more civil to each other, with greater compassion than one sees on the likes of the major news outlets & cable TV news.

      Hummmm has to make one wonder!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Nov 24, 2008
    • I concur one hundred and one percent.. Amen... Well said



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