Our world is changing and it is testing all of us, pushing us to our limits. The changes are rapidly taking place and many of those changes we don’t like.
Today’s norm is completely different from yesterdays. Tomorrow’s will probably be different. It is enough to drive the nicest people to their breaking point.
However, there is one thing we all still possess and can freely practice. It is civility.
Civility is defined as showing formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech.
If you look for it in the halls of Congress it might be hard to find, but in rural Nebraska it can be found everywhere, all the time, even during these changing times.
When my hairdresser asks me to wear a mask or the kind people at the doors of the hospital say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t let you in.”
I have experienced the latter when I took my wife to the hospital with a kidney stone and was told I would have to do the former when I finally get my hair cut this weekend.
I wasn’t happy about not going with my wife, but throwing a fit wouldn’t help matters, so I showed some civility.
It didn't take much effort to be civil, and the sincerity in the eyes of the one telling me I couldn’t go in was real and appreciated.
Had I stomped my fee or cussed her out, it would have only raised my blood pressure, hurt and angered her and rightly got security called.
In these times we still can choose how we respond. And it doesn’t matter if you agree with the new normal or disagree. It doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, pro-lock down, anti-lockdown, pro-mask or anti-mask, you can still be civil.
Treat others as you would want them to treat you.
“I’d want them to stomp their feet and cuss me out.”
Sorry, but if you said that, I think you are lying, maybe even to yourself.
As a journalist, I find myself cussed out often. I may say I’m OK with it, but hurts. It won’t get the person cussing what they want. If anything it will move me in the opposite direction.
Show a little civility and you will have a much better chance of me actually seeing your point of view.
The same is true with most of us. When someone lacks civility we most often react in a similar matter. Or we stomach the lack of civility and talk about the person after they leave.
In these changing times, we are all stressed and have to make ever changing adjustments. Nothing seems easy, nor is it comfortable.
As we try to work through our ever changing world, there are a few things we need to keep in mind:
We are in this together.
We are all different, and that is OK.
We don’t all believe the same way, and that is also OK.
We are Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, rural and urban, rich, not rich and poor and all of that is OK.
We see Republicans wearing masks and Democrats wearing masks.
We see Republicans not wearing masks and Democrats not wearing masks.
We see Democrats and Republicans who want the country to reopen.
We see Democrats and Republicans who want the country to stay closed.
As Americans, we will disagree on issues, but we can still be civil toward one another.
EDITOR’s NOTES: This column is addressing people’s responses to COVID-19 not the recent protests and riots.
Second, the weekend papers were not in the usual order, page wise. In our effort to get all the graduates in we forgot comics in Saturday’s paper. That was my fault and I am sorry for the mix up. We ran a second comic page in Sunday’s paper.