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  • Writer's pictureKim McGahey

Coastal Common Sense April 2024

Please and thank you. Three small words that used to mean so much. In our self-absorbed, personal entitlement culture have we lost the importance of common courtesy, consideration and concern for other people? Have we forgotten how to put others before ourselves? Has the lack of civility in our world resulted in the disappearance of etiquette, politeness and good manners?

For the past 50 years our brains have been trained to focus solely on ourselves. So often from the incessant selfish messaging in advertising, entertainment and all kinds of subliminal commercial and governmental signals the goal has been to look out for number one. Grab for all the gusto you can. You can be anything you want to be by keeping your eyes on the prize. The acquisition of all the outward signs of affluence are more important than any toes you have to step on to obtain them. The me generation, women's lib and now the hysteric digression into all kinds of today's weird and perverted selfishness.

It's a downward progression to see who can come up with the most ridiculous notions of self-aggrandizing victimhood bad behavior. From running red lights to drag queen story hours in elementary school libraries we have lost our way knowing the difference between right and wrong. And now our government is condoning, even encouraging, the outright larceny in retail stores.

Grab and Go at Lowes' end caps has taken on a new nefarious meaning as Soros-backed liberal progressive district attorneys have abandoned penalties for shoplifting, have released petty criminals back onto the streets to rob again and refused to prosecute law breakers for many basic crimes that unravel the rule of law that used to provide the bonds for a civil society. Rome was defeated from moral degradation within, not conquered from without.

Where will it all end? When will we respectively and collectively say enough is enough? We have been given the greatest, most benevolent country in human history with over 250 years of economic growth and prosperity based on the moral clarity of a God-fearing founding and a biblical basis for our daily living. We knew that our liberties and freedoms came from God and not from man; and that the great American experiment was based not on what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

It's not too late to regain the moral high ground and resist, even eliminate, the selfish tendencies in our culture that increasingly pull us down to the lowest common denominator. We can start with prioritizing courteous behavior and being polite to one another. Teach this to our kids at the family dinner table and in their schools.

How we treat other people is a reflection of our own self image. It feels good to hold the door for a woman because it is a sign of respect for her. Chivalry is not dead, it's just got a flat tire. It feels right to say pardon me when you walk in front of somebody in the aisle at the grocery store. It makes you proud when your neighbor notices that your kids know the difference between good and bad behavior as they practice being polite and courteous to others. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when the national anthem brings a tear to your eye or when you acknowledge a military veteran wearing a Vietnam service ball cap.

We live in a messy world where good is declared bad and bad is called good, but it is not too late to commit random acts of kindness and retain a timehonored sense of right and wrong. Hold the door, salute the flag and say please and thank you as often as possible.

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