Have you been wondering about the level of rudeness in America and what can be done about it? I know I have.

Lately I have written and spoken about my concerns with TV news programs that don’t so much have a reasoned discussion around an important issue but rather set up a contentious argument between two people who hold positions on the far extremes of the topic. It seems that rather than want to enlighten us on the nuances of the topic at hand, they would rather entertain us with a heated argument. Of course, behind the debate is the question as to why we choose to watch such nonsense. I know that I turn it off but a lot of folks must be tuning in.

The September 27, 2009, issue of the Christian Science Monitor had an interesting article entitled “America the Boorish?” that looked at the string of high profile incidents of rudeness….one congressman’s yelling out at the President during his speech, a tennis player screaming at a US Open line judge, and a musician who hopped up and interrupted an MTV award winner to grab the microphone to extol the virtues of a “non-winner”. The Monitor pondered if we were entering into some “new age of incivility”. Sometimes it sure seems that way.  Since that article appeared, I would be hard pressed to say that things have gotten better.  We can probably all add our own personal experiences of rudeness… Yet, I know things can improve….

I know that what we focus on grows, that “what we resists, persists”. However, I also know that we need to experience what we don’t truly want sometimes so that we can choose to turn our energy to what we do want.  There is our key for improving the epidemic of rudeness…we turn our attention and focus on kindness….we see now that an epidemic of kindness is breaking out.

So as I look at these things that I believe are not representative of the highest possibilities of us as a people, I now turn to and desire to focus my energy on what I believe is our best direction. And what is that? My list of what I value at the moment looks like this…..

I value treating everyone else with kindness even if it means letting go of “being right”.

I value news programs that recognize that most issues are complex and we need to understand those complexities so we can make our own informed decisions.

I value commentators and programs that strive to present all aspects of a topic in a manner that ensures the dignity and humanity of those presenting their opinions.

I value politicians that seek to ensure respect for all humanity first and foremost, even above their own opinions.

I value athletes who place the dignity of the game, sportsmanship and care and concern for everyone playing above their own winning.

I value entertainers who celebrate the success and positive creative expression of all other entertainers.

I value the vast diversity of life that shows up the wide array of political opinions and the multiplicity of creative expressions.

I value anything that “expresses more Life and harms no one.”

I’m sure we could all add to this list. The question is….after you turn from the boorish behavior that has given us the gift of seeing what we don’t want, what do you want? What do you value? Give it your energy.




Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!