The Moote Pointe Chamber of Commerce is trying to solve this problem: People are getting ruder all the time. And, says the leader, Harold “Yep” Kornfeld, this has to stop.
So, here’s Yep and he wants to stop the onslaught of rudeness. Bad for business. Can’t figure out how that all happened.
Actually, it didn’t happen. It’s all a figure of Yep’s imagination. But there’s nothing like an imaginary enemy to mobilize the forces.
He’s having a tough time selling it to his buddies, but they’ll come around.
But if what he’s saying is true – even a little bit, why?
Maybe it’s Reagan.
Sounds strange, right? Mister Courtesy himself to blame for an outbreak of rudeness?
“Well,” as The Gipper would say, let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this.
The conservative template says that each of us is an island, a land unto itself. It’s our job to take responsibility for our actions, and for our incomes and for our outcomes. Once accepted, the corollary is “if I can do this you can and SHOULD, too.”
Follow so far?
Nothing too wrong yet, right?
“You SHOULD TOO” turns into “You’re not as good as I.” Which turns into “you’re not worth being nice to, listening to or taking seriously.”
The Gipper would be horrified and mystified.
Yep is just dumbfounded.
But it isn’t surprising that the rugged individualists we’re supposedly encouraging get so rugged and so individualistic that they don’t have diplomatic relations with any other island.
So, where will this go from here if it continues along the same path?
Probably, it will mean that “no diplomatic relations” with other “islands” turns into hostilities with other “islands.”
This is not likely to generate the wave of civility that Yep thinks is lacking but that his cohorts seem not to see.
Does this make Yep ahead of his time, or behind it?
In order for there to be an epidemic of courtesy (REAL courtesy, not the kind of phony stuff you get from people who are trying to sell you something) we’re going to start have to seeing value in others for their own sake and not for what they can do for us.
This is not a concept that sits well with today’s rugged individualists.
I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.
(c) 2007 WJR