Why New Habits of Civlity, Humility are Needed

We have become a nation of ninnies. We have a complaint or judgment for everything and everyone.

I'm no saint when it comes to judgment and self-righteousness. Take, for example, the case of Rep. Tod Akin, and his comments about “legitimate rape.”

I've sputtered and stuttered my way around every conversation that's even touched on the subject. I find myself actually preferring that he was engaged in the “war on women” than that he actually believes what he said. Because I'd rather believe he was evil than that decent Americans elected him to Congress.

He might, I fear, be among the stupidest humans ever born with boy-parts.

See, I can get wound up, engage in a little hyperbole! Or maybe you can ask me about Melky Cabrera.

Just a couple of weeks ago I defended AJ Almendinger when he tested positive on a Nascar drug test (a test I thought was erroneous, when it turns out he was just young and dumb...). I thought, and still think, that his entire career shouldn't be ruined because of one stupid decision that effected no one and appears not to have been performance enhancing at all.

And then the Cabrera story breaks, and I don't even consider that he might be innocent. I pray that is because baseball and Nascar have very different records when it comes to PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and that it is not some latent racism.

But I really blew my stack yesterday when I learned that Cabrera might have created a false web site to boost his claim that he had unintentionally taken a tainted supplement. Now I want the man banned for life. I'm okay taking away his entire career? Really?

As much of a jerk as I can be about these things, a story in Tuesday’s Newsday took my breath away.

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Buried in a tiny box at the corner of a page was a report that Rep. Kevin Yoder had been forced to apologize for swimming nude in the Sea of Galilee. Now, I can't imagine I'd like Yoder or much of what he supports... he is literally a Republican from “What's the matter with” Kansas. But seriously?

The article claims the Sea of Galilee is considered a holy site by Christians.

Now I don't know every belief of every sect of Christianity, though I'm pretty familiar with most. So my question is: what whacked out cult believes the entire Sea of Galilee should be preserved as a holy site?

It is a large body of water and people have lived on it, fished in it, bathed in it, and if our stories are true, walked on it, for thousands upon thousands of years. And... drum roll please... Jesus got naked too. There's even nakedness in the Garden of Gethesemene. (Don't believe me? Blow the dust off that Bible and give Mark a careful read.)

We have become a nation of ninnies. We have a complaint or judgment for everything and everyone.

Much of our media industry is driven by it. Jerky judges on talent shows. Profanity-laced tirades on cooking shows. People who spend large amounts of time on blogs posting rude comments about everyone else.

We could do with some new habits, habits of civility, habits of humility.

I'm going to start with an annoying little reminder. On days when I know I can going to be in situations where I will judge and complain, I'm going to wear my watch on the wrong wrist.

It won't work every time, and in truth, if I did this every day, it would stop working. But maybe, just maybe, I can cultivate a civility habit. And then, maybe, let the voters of Missouri judge Akin, and the Commissioner judge Melky.


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