Incivility

September 15th, 2009

To the woman in the SUV this morning who kept beeping her horn because I made her wait 30 seconds while giving someone directions.

The family pulled over to the side of the street.
Mom and dad, with kids in the back seat.
Somehow they’d gone astray
And asked me to help them find their way.

I started to tell them the way to go
When from behind, what do you know—
An insistent honking did arise,
And didn’t stop, to my surprise.

No, it wasn’t just a friendly peep –
You laid it on — one long, loud beep.
You honked and then you honked so more.
You impatience to underscore.

I gave my directions as fast as I could,
But you kept beeping, as I feared you would.
Why does rudeness so abound?
You could easily have gone around.

You got so mad because I made you wait,
But I noticed you had a handicapped plate.
Wouldn’t you want others to be patient too
If getting in the car takes longer for you?

So if you read this (though I doubt you will),
I hope you’ll repent, or better still,
Change your habit so next time
You don’t treat others like inhuman slime.

What goes around comes around, you see.
I honk at you and you honk at me.
Society is what we make it:
We can fix it, or we can break it.

It seems people are so much ruder these days.
Have Miss Manners’ rules all become clichés?
Why is it so common on civility to trample?
(Wilson, Williams, and West are another example.)

In this I’m a conservative.
Wasn’t it better in past times to live,
When people the finger did not so easily give
And minor disagreements would forgive?

Or, if disagree they must,
Could do so without such open disgust
And constant carping of distrust
To grind opponents into dust.

Fellow citizens, this I beseech:
Don’t be so ready to honk, yell, or interrupt a speech.
Though we’re all sometimes tempted (I know I am)
That’s never the way to solve a problem.

I understand that passions can excite
And bad influences (like you, Glenn) can incite,
So that many these days seem to only want to fight.
But isn’t it better to be polite?

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    […] (Even I think that way sometimes). […]

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