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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Decency, Class and Human Dignity

Photo Source: Public Domain
We watched "Chariots of Fire" this weekend.

Mr. Wonderful and I were amazed at the level of respect and dignity in which the characters behaved.  I would love to live in the time where that was still the norm.  I would love to be one who always acted and responded in that way.  Even moreso, I wish my children had role models like that whom they could aspire to be.
Photo Source: Public Domain

I've been at the receiving end of horrible insults and even when we know they are not true, it hurts.  When a self-serving person isn't getting his or her way, I've witnessed how that person attacks physical characteristics or traits that make another unique. Such behavior is the root of abuse of people and of power.  It frightens me that there is potential for such a person to rise to the level of acclaim that I witness happening.

It's true that we don't allow our middle schoolers to behave or speak in the manner that presidential prospectives bellow.  Then again, I've see many middle schoolers who have learned this is what it takes to be heard and it works.  The extremes garner attention, and that makes it worth it.  Where are the adults who embody dignity, even when dealing with individuals or groups of great diversity?  Who will establish a higher level of character and courtesy, even when there is nothing to be gained by the behavior.  Are the days of decency gone?  Does the nice guy (or gal) really lose?  Is it true that we are willing to settle for volume over substance?

I don't care about the size of anyone's hands or ears, the gender or the pantsuit.  I want to know how a person intends to bring our nation together.  I listen for details, for direction, for vision.  I don't expect an individual to know it all.  I expect a candidate to be capable of working well with others in order to attract the most excellent team that will provide the intellectual and interpersonal negotiating skills to affect our society and world.

I have seen the cultural shift in my generation, and I'm sure others have witnessed even more.  Indecency and selfishness have always abounded.  Today, such traits appear to be applauded.  I wonder at the long term consequences and am saddened that my children will have to navigate a much harsher world than I did.