What Has Happened To Polite Society? Is It Dead?
BY JACK LEVINE
I have never felt so besieged by public negativity and stressful discourse. Just as road rage is frightful and dangerous, in some ways, vocal rage is a form of violence and is similarly perilous.
Vile language spewing from anyone’s mouth is an offensive embarrassment. Words matter and if we don’t find a way to limit the vitriol we will doubtless suffer dire consequences.
“It’s time to defuse the insults and elevate the tone and tenor in our homes, communities, nation and worldwide….in both personal and political discourse.”
Pronouncements which divide us by enflaming animosities – pitting one against another; magnifying differences rather than celebrating our diversities – creates a setting for hatred to thrive.
My advocate role is to dissuade anyone who sets a bad example for our children, to find common ground and stimulate civil conversation to reach mutual goals…across the generations.
It’s time to defuse the insults and elevate the tone and tenor in our homes, communities, nation and worldwide….in both personal and political discourse.
Hate is an acquired behavior that can lead to venomous horror.
We must assure that the very young, along with us of all ages, are not fed a daily diet of destructive rage. Digesting hate speech infects the body and soul.
We must strive to create positive emotional environments with family members, friends, colleagues, mentors and role models who help mitigate problems and pave a path to personal contentment.
We need to hear more about solutions. How do we cure the sick body and souls of millions – young and old? Certainly not solely by locking them up or mandating forced exclusion from the opportunities of a positive society. Preventing distress is far better than resorting to punishment.
I try every day to help those whose path I cross to be a symbol of hope not fear, and understanding not disenchantment. We are keepers of our fellow travelers.
Please resolve to make life about us, not just “me”. We all need someone else…Let’s commit to a declaration of inter-dependence!.
On the day we were born, someone else did the hard work – we just showed up.
Together, we must keep the faith. Pass on the wisdom of advocating peace, understanding, and love.
Despite the challenges, please tell me your suggestions for reaching a solution that benefits us all. I pledge to respond.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Jack Levine
After a 25-year tenure as president of Voices for Florida’s Children, a statewide advocacy network, Jack founded 4Generations Institute to promote intergenerational policies and programs that benefit the young, their parents, and more experienced family members…..also known as grandparents.
Jack’s expertise is in developing and delivering messages to the media, public officials, and a diverse network of health, education, human services and social justice advocates on the value of preventive investments in children, parent leadership, grandparent activism, and dignified services for elders.
Through public speaking, seminar and workshop leadership, community conversations and opinion columns, Jack shares information, provides inspiration and leverages advocate enthusiasm in the direction of public policy action.
Jack holds a Master’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Purdue University and an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Hunter College.
He serves as Partnership Director for GRAND Media, is a member of Generations United and was a founding member of the Board of Voices for America’s Children.
Jack is the GRANDpartnership director for GRAND Magazine – to learn more click here.