TOO POLITE? STAND AND DELIVER!
“We need to stop being so damned polite!” said a friend at dinner last night. Is there such a thing as being too polite? I think so. In my note to my friend later, I said, “Our being polite could be construed as cowardice in the name of kindness. Enough!” Mr. Wonderful and I are always careful not to interrupt, not to one-up, not to contradict without selecting our words carefully. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop some of the people with whom we engage from doing that to us. The result is us doing most of the listening, and others dominating the conversation. Sometimes it leaves us bored to tears. But whose fault is that?
I was brought up to be respectful to my elders. I was taught that interrupting is rude and that saying something unkind was not ladylike and very unbecoming. Rude was wrong. Disrespect was not tolerated. One-upping was for the insecure, not the enlightened. Well, guess what, I am becoming enlightened in my golden years. Decorum and refinement are, unfortunately, passé in our narcissistic, entitled world. If the “too polite pack” doesn’t step up and demand that good manners and kindness become the norm once again, we are all going to suffer.
I don’t care what you thought of the political platform of our last President. He was a role model of refinement, class and dignity. He was a model father and husband, one whose venom was aimed at those who were endangering our country, not those who got in the way of his agenda. I was proud to call him my President, and it was easy to point to him when explaining good manners and respect to my grand-children. He represented all I was taught growing up.
Whether it’s fighting for a cause, holding your own at a dinner table or refraining from criticizing when it will only hurt not help, those of us who are too polite need to say, “Enough!” We need to stand up to the conversation bullies, push back the hate mongers and stand up for those being harassed. Standing by is no longer an option. We need to stand and deliver. If the enlightened never show their light, there will only be darkness.