Dear friends, I'm going to ramble a bit but bear with me. I'm sure that where ever you get together together with people for a chat, it is not long before one or other of the following subjects crop up - violence, in the US it seems to be shootings in the UK it is would appear to be knifing or road rage where a fellow driver irks a person and then someone is reaching into a car to beat someone up!
You break up with your girlfriend throw acid over her so no one else will have her. Government officials, hospital staff verbally if not physically abused. The shop assistant who balancing a phone, continues to talk on it as they take money from you. The businesses who do not reply or think that they owe you any explanation or return letters or calls. You spend hours looking for a present for someone but do not receive any acknowledgement the gift was received let alone a thank you. The generally rude indifferent speech of the world's elites etc. Well, you get the picture. On the face of it, you may be thinking what have manners got to do with any of this?
I think a lot, over the centuries people honed etiquette and code of manners, why did they do that? They were wise, they knew that the basic human nature was not wonderful, with few exceptions it was self-centered, greedy. Hot-headed actions without thinking and this is dangerous to life and limb, by extension it is dangerous for whole societies and countries. Gradually over centuries little set pieces, little pathways of behaviour evolved, these slowed actions down and gave people time for reactive anger to be controlled. It was displacement action, you do this so you don't take other rash actions. Other etiquette customs prevented people or countries from humiliating each other.
Etiquette rules demanded you acknowledge others, always thanked for services rendered etc. people learnt to modify speech. All the committee rules to keep anger at bay most of the time. Now formality has been thrown out, who needs rules, it is all about me, I don't have to think. Do as you would be done on to. I don't have to think about anyone else, I have RIGHTS is the shout. The obligation thing is too often disregarded and thought of if it is thought of at all, it is noted as for fools. This all has to be redressed if we don't, fate or nature will do it for us. It is a horrible thing to say and I hate even thinking it but I fear we will suffer a world war, a pandemic of some kind or perhaps it is the climate change, a disaster to re-calibrate human values.
But how? well, that I do not know...
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