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Reflections! A Civil Society?
A Civil Society?
By William L. Bulla
We seem to be living in the midst of an epidemic of rudeness. Cursing and vulgar language are on the increase. Character assassination and negative political advertisements are up.
More and more people live for themselves and do not feel they are morally accountable to anyone (even God) for their actions or behavior.
We are told to "Look Out for Number One," and not to let anyone limit our freedom to be ourselves. Perhaps that is why civility is on the decline.
Over the past few months, we have been exposed to examples of incivility on television news coverage. These were especially noted because the uncivil acts were performed by notable people in the fields of politics, sports and music.
Civility acknowledges the value of another person. But we are living in a time when politeness, manners and common courtesy seem to have disappeared. Is it because modern society doesn't seem to offer many rewards for the courteous person? It often seems the pushy, impolite persons are the ones who get ahead. Have I become ruder and more aggressive in my life? How about you? Many people today have lost patience, self-control and consideration of others in their struggle for self-gratification. We need to bring these qualities back to build a more civil society.
Let's not forget that incivility is prevalent in the workplace, as well.
That refers to violation of courtesy or respect for others in the workplace. It can take the form of bullying subordinates, spreading rumors about fellow workers, or failing to collaborate with colleagues.
The rules of civility, which are rooted in biblical morality, are being totally ignored. At the heart of civility is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39). If we truly love our neighbors, then we should be governed by moral standards that express concern for others and limit our own freedom. I Corinthians 13, the love chapter, is all about respecting one another. It is all about relationships within your life, your home, the church, and the business world. It is important that we, as believers, conduct ourselves this way in our relationships to one another. It says love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude; it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, no records of wrongs.
Our real test comes when others are not civil to us. We should not show then incivility. Let's give it a try!
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.
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