American behavior and manners are a citizenship issue. What you believe is how you behave. Who you respect has a lot to do with your beliefs and behavior. And I believe we see a plethora of bad behavior being modeled in America. I think this is at the root of our society’s behavior problems.
Bad Behavior Is Bold and Ramped Up
Lately, bad behavior is more bold and ramped up than ever. Fighting at ex$pen$ive sporting events has taken the spotlight. Don’t get me wrong. With a few adult beverages, things can happen. I get it. But now it seems you can’t walk to your seat at a venue without a brawl busting out. Who thinks this is a good idea?
Seeing that getting to your seat is now newsworthy, let’s look at this through the lens of good citizenship. We learned “keep your hands to yourself” when we were five. But do you know the secret of good etiquette when returning to your arena seat? FACE the people you are walking past. Please do not put your back (or backside) to them. It’s common sense 🙂 “Stuff” is less likely to happen if you face your row. Of course, seats are so tight that seated patrons should stand to let you pass by.
Dress the Way You Want to Be Addressed
Since we are so short of behavior models, let’s review the value of dressing up. I just read this quote today. “Dress the way you want to be addressed.” I like that. We all want some respect. Americans tend to follow influencers, newsmakers, and people behaving badly as people they emulate. Now, we all learned that you dress for the job you want, not the one you have. You level up. When you level up, you get respect AND show respect to those around you simultaneously.
Next, if you are in Congress and have the gavel, it is a position of respect and honor. Probably want to wear more than shorts and a shirt from Dress Down Day. You might want to level up to at least business elegant casual. Just sayin’. I’m wondering now if school principals will show up in their running garb for school. Or if the guy in the next cubicle will greet customers with his camping shorts on.
Bad Behavior is Bad Even When It Is “Better Than”
It’s a thing these days to accept bribes for political behaviors (in either party), so much so that I’m expecting to hear something like, “What’s wrong? Everybody does it.” What did your mother tell you when you said, “Everybody does it!” Right. She probably said, “If I told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?”
Suppose we devolve into a society that accepts bribes for favors as normal. In that case, we will buy a ticket to the third world quickly. Trust will be out the window. It becomes an “everyone for themselves” existence. No thanks!
Without an Emily Post or Ann Landers reminding us to behave, or our mothers or grandmothers, we have to set the pace. Tikky Tac won’t do it.
We need to refuse bad behavior. Save your money and don’t attend large event arenas if bad behavior is standard. Call or email your senators and representatives to let them know you know it costs a lot to win an election. You could say you expect them to meet work attire standards that show respect for the office.
And for America’s sake, refuse bribes. Don’t let your kids, spouse, friends, co-workers, or anyone else bribe you. Just because some officeholders do it doesn’t mean you or I should.
We don’t have to exhibit or settle for the lowest common denominator of behavior. We can model respect and demand better behavior from those in the public eye.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸
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