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culture of mind your manners?
I was raised by Democrats, well I think Mom sometimes canceled Dad's vote. It was done politely, just by stepping behind the curtain. My extended family is mixed, both the elephants and donkeys are at the Thanksgiving dinner table. I was taught to respect people for their actions, their behavior and I certainly was taught to respect other people's opinion, There was a respect for business, I was raised in a family business, It was always important, if it was a job, it was to be done. Don't be casual about agreeing to do something, saying yes meant you had to do it. so say yes carefully.
When I went off to college my dad took me aside and gave me a little talk, two things, one he insisted he inspect any apartment before I rented one. He said Lawrence had a lot of cheap apartments that were fire traps. The other message was to warn me that where I was going was not like back home. You could not do hand shake deals. I'll do this if you do that, that people didn't know how to do that. That it is hard for most people to even understand how hard it was to keep to it, if it became inconvenient. He was amazingly right. Two of the apartments he rejected, burned in the next 10 years. My first room mates, ate my food, broke my furniture, skipped rent, made darling promises. I eventually chose not to be so understanding and not to be so helpful when their emergencies arrived. I think we all learn that lesson, unless we are the one that is always in dire straights.
Now that I have ran around the bush and beat the horse to death. Here is my point, a community or office develops a culture. We have seen it in offices, the little jealousies taking point over getting the job done. I watch some bloggers who always jump on any action or story with negative, sour, mean comments. Is it a habit?
Fifty years ago I heard a Chamber of Commerce guy tell my Dad he would not make any money or friends if he made a black man a foreman over whites. My Dad just said, he can do the job, he gets it. It was a hard job and the man had worked for us for a long time. The chamber guy said, you will never make money and you can't treat you crew like friends. This was over coffee at the old Coffee Cup Cafe. My Dad said " I don't give them money, I owe them money, for work" His crew worked hard and they showed up, and they showed up sober. My memory is perhaps softening this conversation. I don't think my Dad was talking about race or economics at all. I think he thought the guy in the suit was getting into his business. It isn't a liability to use respect in the workplace, or in discussion.
Which brings me to, what in the heck has happened to the Republicans, to the Democrats, to the businessmen, to the workers. Why are their remarks getting so predictable, sound bites for every meal. Expressing a thought takes more time than calling people names or dismissing ideas by yelling out a label. I dismiss an arguement when it is a knee jerk response, a snipe or carp, someone who is whining at every injustice, moment of discomfort or hardship. Ask the troll to make an argument to state a case. We are paying people to rant. I turn the tv off if the orator can only emote. Do it next time someone is emoting garbage. Or do you chime in because it lets you express your feelings, your anger and hopelessness. Get over it, find your manners, remember that jobs and community are part of a good life. You are responsible for how you look at things, how you communicate and what kind of culture you create.