What’s Wrong With America?!

This could very easily develop in to an entire series of posts.  There are just SO many areas of American society that have gone off-course over the years.  This country used to adhere to a number of unwritten rules and courtesies, and plain old-fashioned manners that just seem to have fallen by the wayside.  The *whys* are myriad.  It’s a fast paced world, and we’re all in such a rush.  The steady influx of non-European immigrants – legal or otherwise –  with their various cultural differences.  Today’s mainstream media, which is still primarily: television, movies, and modern/popular music, but also includes things such as video games and this most democratic of medias – the internet.  To an ever lessening extant, unfortunately, you could even add the print media to the list.  There’s too many of *us*, and our personal space seems to be shrinking a little more each day.  Some of these things, all of these things, and more things than I have listed, all have contributed to (more like subtracted from) our collective consciousness.

Today’s pet peeve?  The vanishing art of the apology.  More and more adults are forgetting how to do so, or, like so many of today’s children/youth/younger people (what have you), they’ve never really learned the value of a true, not necessarily formal, but sincere apology.  Some would argue that – like the old John Wayne line – apologizing is a sign of weakness.  Lawyers and legal experts equate the apology with culpability and financial responsibility/restitution.  (Probably one good argument for there being too many lawyers, and why our society has grown so litigious.)  This is where we’ve gone wrong, though, because an apology is less about accepting (personal) blame, and more about acknowledging another’s pain.

What are people doing instead of apologizing?  They’re making up excuses, such as:  “I didn’t know.”  Or, they’re rationalizing the situation:  “This wouldn’t have happened if you . . .”  (See, they even go so far as to turn it around, so you’re to blame)  And, of course, the hip and happening end-around to actually apologizing is:  “My bad.”  My bad, or sometimes just:  “My B.” is actually accepting the blame, but it doesn’t acknowledge the other’s pain.  It’s just a gutter/ghetto Mea culpa.  (At least by saying Mea culpa one sounds literate.)  There’s a kind of disconnection with a “My bad”.

In my opinion, the vanishing art of apologizing is going a long way towards making ours one callous society.  It shows both a lack of sympathy and empathy.  Withholding an apology is a very selfish and cowardly act.  People who refuse to utter those two simple words – I’m sorry – are fooling themselves into believing that they, somehow, have the upper hand . . . when all they’ve really done is taken the lower road. 

Two simple words.  Three little syllables.  When they’re said to you, without force and/or sarcasm, don’t they take just that much of the sting away?  Knowing that the other person understands your pain is what keeps us, as social beings, connected.  Two simple words, kids.

Your Uncle Rave

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