A nice society without punching
As a youngster, I had hopes for when I grew up that technology would help America become a better place to live. It was standard dinner table conversation to talk about the advances of technology. Why, we even had a telephone. That was something that my grandparents never had on the ranch.
When I was seven we were at my grandparent’s ranch and witnessed the first object sent into space, the Soviet-launched Sputnik, as it flew west to east. My uncle said to me, “Remember this moment for the rest of your life because with that up there our world is changing.”
When I was eleven we even got a television set, black and white of course. And then the world was at our call by getting a kid to turn the channel changer or deal with the volume or smack the side when the picture would roll. We were a community with good and bad people, with saints and sinners side by side. But there was an overarching rule that people had to act decent within the community or would be cast out. The reason I am thinking fondly of a kinder gentler time is because I am up to my neck in rude people.
When technology gave us a connection to most of the 7 billion people on Earth I never thought that I would regret the technology. But I do since it seems to have brought out the very worst in our citizens. In the older days including when I lived as a young man in several small communities, there was a price to pay for being rude to someone.
Often it was a punch in the snout. And since everyone saw everyone at the Post Office and the local café, if you were snarky to someone there would be an immediate consequence from that person and likely several of the town elders who didn’t like that kind of behavior.
But we have a society that screams rudeness because even if you do not like the way you are treated it is next to impossible to find the culprit and administer the thrashing that the skunk deserves. So many citizens just write something snarky back and the circle continues.
Worse, in politics it is required for people to lose whatever tiny bit of genteelness and be as rude and disgusting as their vocabulary allows, all in the name of politics.
The worse thing about this rudeness in politics is we Americans who inherited a mighty fine nation from our parents and grandparents are not being good shepherds of that trust. Rather, we ignore the incredible debt being placed around the heads of our children and grandchildren while we complain that we haven’t gotten enough political plunder for our votes.
All I do now is shun those rude people when I notice them on Facebook or at a meeting. I have reached a time and station in life where punching people in the snout is not an option. Maybe I should design an app called the Snout Puncher. Email: drswickard@comcast. net
In My Opinion