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The Sound of Ideas

Is Civility Lost?

Posted Friday, October 2, 2009

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Now that the heat over Congressman Joe Wilson’s “you lie” outburst has cooled and summer’s angry town hall meetings on health care are behind us, ready for a thoughtful conversation about civility? Or, more precisely, the growing lack of civility – not just in the political arena but in sports, on the internet and across the cultural landscape. More people seem to be ready to "unload" at the drop of a hat? Ever catch yourself being uncivil? Friday morning at 9, join Regina Brett and guests as they discuss what's fueling incivility and what can be done about it.


Arts and Culture


John Schneider, Columnist, Lansing State Journal
John Green, Director, Ray Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at University of Akron
Dan Buccino, Assistant Professor in Dept. of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Catherine, Holloway, Etiquette Consulting Services

Additional Information

Rich Harwood's Redeeming Hope Blog: Liar, liar, pants on fire!
John Schneider: Lawmaker's outburst hints at a much larger issue
Regina Brett: Cost of parking: $2 or your dignity

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julie 8:42 AM 10/2/09

i was sitting on the patio of a local coffee shop with my 3 year old son. two teenagers came walking by swearing up a storm. one apologized as she walked by, as the other, now louder, continued to swear about how she didn’t care because it wasn’t her kid. what’s the civil way to deal with this type of event, especially given such a bystander?

Steve 8:55 AM 10/2/09

Good Morning
I have worked in retail for the past 20 yrs and have faced a public that has developed an increasing level of entitlement.  Easy availability of information has created more instant experts who downgrade the expertise in others.  None of us are as important as we think and we would all do well to respect the knowledge of others.

Catherine Holloway 11:34 AM 10/2/09

Hi Julie, that has happened to me as well. Sometimes when I am with my peers and other times when I am with my daughter. Public swearing is not the best way to express ones self. There are many other words to choose from. The fact that one teenager did apologized was a great opportunity for you to say a loud thank you and try to get eye contact. Other times, as a parent, it is a great opportunity to have a discussion with the children you are with about the event. I know your child is 3, but as he grows remember all of the daily teaching opportunity we are given, free of charge.  Grab them and use them!


Julie, I hope that helps.

Catherine Holloway

Paul 2:06 AM 10/4/09

I noticed that the issue of time came up quite a lot in the show.  eg. that it’s rude when people arrive late.  I personally do not feel that this is necessarily rude.  For example, I have found that the concept of time varies by culture.  People in the United States tend to be more uptight about time compared to other cultures.  When I lived abroad in Costa Rica, people took a more relaxed view of time and was not always rushing from place to place.  And how many times have you heard about “Indian time” or some other culture’s time?

In other words, I would think twice before calling someone rude for being late.  They might not be intentionally trying to be “rude” at all.


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