What Happened to Common Decency?

Over the past week, or two, or fifty-two, I’ve noticed an unpleasant fact. Many Americans no longer exhibit common decency.

I shouldn’t expect this to change; decency has left a large portion of the American population, and I doubt it’s ever coming back. But some of us want it back, including me.

 

Definition of decency.

 

 

Definition of decency

plural

decencies

  1.  archaic  a:fitness  b:orderliness

  2. 2a:  the quality or state of being decentpropriety  b:conformity to standards of taste, propriety, or quality

  3.  standard of propriety —usually used in plural

  4. decencies plural:  conditions or services considered essential for a proper standard of living

  5.  literary decorum

Examples of decency in a Sentence

  1. Decency, not fear of punishment, caused them to do the right thing.

  2. Sending aid to the victims was simply a matter of common decency.

  3. If you’re going to be late, please have the decency to call and let me know.

  4. Have you no sense of decency?

  5. He had been taught to observe the ordinary decencies.

Definition of decency for English Language Learners

  • polite, moral, and honest behavior and attitudes that show respect for other people

  • decencies: the behaviors that people in a society consider to be proper or acceptable

 

 

From what I have seen and experienced recently, the above does not count for everyone. Some people do not enjoy respect, simply because they don’t agree on matters of politics, religion, parenting, values, etc. And I’m not speaking of strangers, but people who move in the same circles on social media.

This tends to bother me if I let it, or if it’s thrown in my face the way it has been over the past couple of weeks, when certain people (including me) have been treated like idiotic trash for daring to differ with a person who shall remain unnamed. The name doesn’t matter, because it is interchangeable with other names.

The names don’t matter. What matters is the lack of decency.

I have a bit of a temper, like many other people. Sometimes it gets away from me. But when in a public setting I try to keep my discourse civil, without name calling, scorn, derision or other unpleasant tactics that are thrown around on comments threads like poison confetti by certain people, who, for reasons known only to them, feel they are entitled to trash other human beings just for having a differing opinion.

Newsflash: Not everyone has to agree on every subject. Another newsflash: You are not always right. Nor am I.

I have no idea why it is acceptable to choose certain human beings to trash. But this is what has happened. It has come to a point where I block people when I see them trashing other people, because if a modicum of common decency and respect cannot be shown to others, why would I expect these people to treat me with respect? When name calling, dog piling and ridicule are used against one person, what reason do I have to expect that I would be treated any different?

I would be a fool to expect to be treated with common decency, when other people are treated like trash.

I chose the photo above for a reason. I’m a Roman Catholic, and my faith means everything to me.

I took the photo on a recent visit to The Basilica Shrine of The Immaculate Conception, in Washington DC. It’s the same Church where Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral was held. The statue is The Mother of Sorrows.

Each person on earth is here for a reason. Even the evil ones are here for some reason. Also included are the people we may dislike or disdain or feel have no value. The Mother of Sorrows seems  an appropriate illustration for how I feel when I read comments threads where I am trashed or others, including friends of mine are trashed.

Then I get over it, because feelings don’t matter a damn. Facts are what matter, and the fact is that I’m worth a lot to God. So are the other people who are trashed, and the trashers themselves.

That’s the only thing that really matters.

 

Jesus Christ

 

Still there are things worth pondering. What is life about, anyway? Where are we going when our time on earth comes to an end?

Everyone has their own beliefs and opinions on the above, which is the way it was before Social Media. So why not go back to treating people with respect and decency? Explain your position with kind words, and maybe you’ll convince people that your opinion is the right one.

Because this new trend isn’t working, and it never will.

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2 thoughts on “What Happened to Common Decency?

  1. You are a nicer person than I am, Daniella. When someone calls me rude names online I have an irresistible impulse to get snarky and correct their spelling and grammar. What was the saying— ‘the more I learn of men, the more I like my cat/chicken/pet zombie.’ Something like that.

    1. I’m not nicer than you. I do get snarky after the person insults me a few times. But the block button is my friend :). There is no excuse for the online behavior of certain people who hold grudges for a year, and look for every opportunity to insult and dog pile.

      I don’t care who they are–my life is happier without looking at their irrational hate.

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