Monday, September 5, 2011

Incivility and Marriage

I've been thinking a lot about the problem of incivility these days. It's so rampant. People are loud, obnoxious, and completely uncivil toward one another in the world today. I know incivility has always existed, but now it's the norm.

Don't like how someone is driving too slow? Cut them off.

Don't like how the McDonald's employee got your order wrong? Cuss him out.

People seem to have forgotten the saying my mom always used to tell me: "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

Do people even know what that means? That if someone isn't treating you right, treat them right and they will come around. This works with customer service people.

Now, I make mistakes and have had those days where I'm totally ticked off and I call the customer service line and give them an earful. I'm not shy enough to admit that. But let me tell you something. I have had much better success with customer service by being polite and kind than by being rude and harsh.

It's amazing how when you're nice to someone, they are much more willing to be nice back.

I was thinking how this applies to marriage.

In our world, children do not always get an example of civility from their parents and sometimes they are not taught kindness in the home. Some siblings are expected more to stay out of each other's ways than to become friends. They aren't expected to help each other out or to serve each other or to really even be civil.

If this is the case, how can they learn to be civil to a spouse?

I think that one reason marriages fail in today's world is because people simply aren't civil to one another. The Golden Rule has been thrown out the window. People think "why isn't he treating me right?" instead of thinking "what can I do to show him more love and treat him better?"

I started thinking this when I learned of yet another failed marriage of an acquaintance. The reason? I don't know all the minute details of their marriage or what else was going on, but I do know that this particular lady is no lady at all. She's crass and rude and is generally not a nice person, so it's almost not surprising that her marriage failed. If she is that horrible to people she is not married to, how does she treat her spouse at home? Usually we are worse at home than we are in public.

I think we need to stop and teach our young people to treat each other kindly. To always try to look for the good in people and to live by the Golden Rule.

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