I don’t miss formal much at all. I don’t really care what fork someone uses for their fish, nor in what direction they scoop their soup. I never wanted my kids’ friends to call me Mrs. So-and-So, Lisa is just fine.
But I miss civility. And I miss the grace notes of civility, augmented civility, often conflated with formality but not the same thing.
There’s so much yelling these days. I refuse to talk politics here, not because they don’t matter, they do, but because for whatever reason we seem to have lost the ability to speak in civil tones about civic matters. There’s virtue in kindness that’s separate from the virtue in causes.
Also people shove a lot. And honk. I’m guilty of over-enthusiastic horning, especially when I can tell the person blithely parked at a green light is reading his or her phone. I will try to do better.
I think Please, Thank You, and You Are Ever So Welcome are lovely words and should be over-used. It is possible to disagree, to coexist, to find a parking place in a crowded lot without yelling at your fellow shoppers. At least without yelling at them so they can hear. But yes, it takes work.
I think it’s worth it. Tough for blurters, I do not exempt myself from this reminder.
I am sure there is science behind how to have a civil argument. I know we’ve talked about dealing with difficult people in the workplace, maybe we just extrapolate that thinking to regular life. As though being a human in society is a job, even a privilege, not something we take for granted like grotty plaid flannel pajama bottoms.
So. Happy recent Canada Day to our Canadian friends, happy on-its-way Fourth of July to all my fellow Americans. Thank you for reading, please have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.