Three notions I feel would create a more call community are respect for others, self control and compassion. Imagine the Utopia that would be our world, If all would practice these three things. In my own life I already strive to live by these principles and teach my children to live by them as well. A little over a year ago, our home was burglarized by two teenagers. My children and I had opportunity to witness and be part of civility in action. Our home backed up to Eagle Rd and a gentleman in a car passing by noticed the teens jumping our back fence with our belongings.
This stranger immediately fulfilled his civic “duty” and called the police who arrived shortly thereafter. The boys ran and stashed the “loot” and hid in the neighborhood. Our possessions ( with the exception of whatever they shoved in their pockets) were recovered because of the driver who called the police. That person had a general respect for others and an awareness that caused him to do the right thing instead of driving right on by. The teens who broke into our house, had a lack of respect for others, and a lack of self control.
Later the teens were caught when one of the mothers found my credit card in her sons room and called the police . Her decision to do this so deeply moved me, because as a mother I cannot imagine how hard that must have been for her. She fulfilled her civic “duty” as a good citizen because of her honesty and respect for others. Amazingly, the same officer who had responded to my burglary the first night Just happened to be the officer to respond to her call. He remembered me and still had my phone number on his notepad, which was now on Its last page.
Officer Green called me and told me he was standing In the teens room at that very moment and asked me what else had been taken so he could look around for it. The officer was not obligated to do that, but he felt It was his CIVIC duty because he still had my number, and wanted to do what was right. Each of these here strangers, chose civility. They had nothing to gain personally from their actions but peace and contentment In knowing that they did the right thing. Respect for others. It seems like such a simple concept and yet every day so many opportunities to display It are missed because of our own self absorption.
We are great at tuning others out around us while we thumb through our Pods on a busy street or talk on our cell phones while waiting In line at the grocery store. Respect for others doesn’t have to be something that is visible to those around us. Many times it is in our unseen octagons Tanat we snow greatest respect Tort toners. IT we learn to respect others, things like courtesy, care, consideration, the golden rule, politeness, and tact just naturally fall into place. These are all products of respect. Self control.
Can you imagine the problems that would disappear from our community if we all practiced self control? Addictions to drugs, alcohol, sex, immorality, food, the list goes on and on. What would happen to the crime rate? How many marriages would be spared the heartache of divorce? How many children protected from violence and abuse? How much financial debt would be eliminated from our lives? If we could all learn to reactive self control, the impact would be astounding. Compassion. Everywhere we go in this world, there are hurting people.
However, it seems to take a national disaster or terrorist act to wake up our communities and push us into action. Even then our memory is short and we tend to quickly revert back to our previous ways. If we could hold on to the unity that comes through compassion, we could change the world. Pay it forward! Out of compassion comes care, kindness, decency, concern, sincerity, awareness, listening, going out of one’s way, lending a hand, good citizenship and peace. What’s in it for me? Well, as you can see from my story about the burglary, I feel that there is so much to be gained by doing the right thing.
Not only because I was able to recover our possessions and see Justice for the crime against me, but because being civil provides contentment and happiness in knowing that we’ve done the right thing. “Civility assists us in making choices that increase the quality of our lives… The practice of civility is the applying of gentle force with the goal that everybody be a winner in the delicate game of the social exchange. ” (Forcing- Choosing Civility) So then the question becomes, what’s not in it for me?