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What Do You Think?

September 17, 2009

Editor's note: The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments when voting. A sampling of edited reader comments will run on The Herald-Mail's Opinion page on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The question posted Monday on The Herald-Mail's Web site was: Is civility a thing of the past?

o "I wouldn't say it's too far from gone. How often have you seen rudeness at the store, on the road, in your neighborhood, among co-workers? While the nature to withhold certain inappropriate comments remains, sarcasm and lack of concern over other's personal space/property in day-to-day routines seems all too common. Then, it feeds on itself in otherwise civil people ... and the cycle continues."

o "Civility on this (Web) site is in the past and I admit I am part of it. It is easy when you don't have to look at someone face to face and when they make stupid statements. However, I do see more civility when people are acting face to face."

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o "Not yet, but pop culture and Hollywood are doing everything they can to get us there. Instead of kids being taught 'you do what's right because it's right,' we have generations of people growing up with the mindset of 'if it feels good, do it.' I honestly think a part of this downward spiral is the product of churches not adapting their message to communicate to the changing culture and failure to deal with hypocrisy (notice I said adapting, not changing). One thing the baby boomers had as a little voice in the back of their head was all those years of growing up in a church and being told that there is a wrong and a right. Kids don't have that these days. Now, they're being raised by MTV."

o "Many people I know refuse to acknowledge the basics in civility, for example, remaining silent for prayer, the pledge or national anthem; insisting they have the right to wear whatever clothes they want to any type of event they attend; keeping hats on indoors; talking loudly; and lacing comments with obscenities in public. I know many who insist these things are problems for others and they do not feel obligated to moderate their behavior. Sad."

o "Civility is indeed a thing of the past. U.S cultural standards have clearly eroded and today we live in an anything-goes society. We not only allow our children to disrespect authority, we encourage it. No longer are simple lessons of patience and general courtesies like 'please,' 'thank you' and 'yes/no sir/ma'am' given or expected. No longer do men open doors for women, or the young for the old. These are old ideas, from a culture we talk about, but is now breathing its last. We've evolved and now strive to display and emulate the lowest standard of common behavior."

o "Civility is a personal decision. Although not always successful in it, I try to practice civility in everyday life, in greeting other people, in driving, in posting on this forum. My ideal is to respond with civility to every situation. Every single person deserves the respect inherent in a civil response to them."

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