Archive for December, 2015

The Death of Civility

December 11, 2015

There is a trend within my immediate context of relationships that has me very worried.  That trend involves the willingness, or lack thereof, of the current generation of 40 something’s to take up the baton of civility and continue to run with it.  It is true in my local context, and I believe in many others, that the burden of caring for others emotionally and physically is being carried by those who are in the sunset of their lives.  I am concerned that after the sun sets on that generation that those in my generation will not be willing to step into that void to do what is necessary to help those in need.  Those little things that you don’t think have any effect, actually have incredible weight.  I recall being in the funeral procession on the way to bury my son Eli.  There were two individuals that I spotted on the side of the road who stopped what they were doing and put their hats over their hearts to honor someone they didn’t even know.  That was ten years ago and I can still take you to the very spot they were standing when they showed this act of kindness and tell you what they had stopped doing to honor my son.  That is the kind of civility that is dying today.  It is that same kind of civility that goes to funerals for people they don’t even know well.  They cook food for people who are homebound and visit those who are bereaved.  My generation is one that has relegated those sorts of things to the “professionals” in the church.  In doing so, I fear that we are weakening the witness of God’s church and contributing to the death of civility in our culture.