Quick Thoughts: Civility

Jun 19, 2012 by

I was driving my wife to work and we were stopped at a signal light. At the curb was a woman and probably her son. The boy was between five and seven years old. He was pounding on the pedestrian walk button (is there a name for that devise?), so I shook my head and the youth gave me the finger, yes that finger. Of course his mother, or the adult accompanying him, was not paying attention to what was going on. Her parenting duty was not as important as the phone conversation she was having. I thought about my options. Do I roll down the window and say something? Do I ignore the situation?

What would you do?

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  1. joeltaylor1989

    You ignore the situation. If the kid feels comfortable flipping you off when his mom might see, he most likely has done it before in front of her and didn’t get in trouble, or will do it again in front of her and get in trouble. Either way, the parent will notice and have an opportunity to correct the situation. If the problem is the parent, most likely, it will only make her mad at you for pointing it out (as parents get defensive of their parenting style). If she does not accept it, but is an ineffective parent, pointing it out does nothing. If she is an effective parent, she either would have noticed then, or will correct the situation in the future. The only difference your pointing it out could have is causing a scene where the mom gets mad and yells at you for telling her how to raise her kid. Best to let it go in that instance.

  2. Vince Giglio

    Is it not our duty as citizens to speak out against injustice? Is it not the work of the community to speak out against those that break civil convention? If we do not who will?

  3. Anonymous

    Go ahead and say something. A man I know recently had an experience with a rude nurse at the hospital where his son was being treated. He told her that she did not respond appropriately to his question that he had asked and she surprisingly burst into tears (apparently she had had a rough day). The nurse’s supervisor came up and the man told him what had happened. The supervisor said that the correction means more coming from the man than from the boss, and thanked and apologized to the man. Sometimes we learn lessons better from people who aren’t in charge of us. If we aren’t corrected at all, however, we don’t learn how to act properly, even when we are impatient or stressed out.

    Not only that, one shouldn’t allow others to treat him disrespectfully. Even if the boy doesn’t learn his lesson, it’s always important for YOU to stand up for yourself and not accept when people mistreat you, even if the offender is only a child.

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