Today is National Decency Day and if you've looked at Twitter, or watched the news, or read anything online, recently you probably know that public decency is losing ground at a rather rapid rate. Decency is defined as behavior that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability. Decency covers every aspect of every interaction we have with another. One cannot simply be decent on Sunday then turn around and, on Monday, begin acting badly toward a neighbor or co-worker. Marguerite Yourcenar. an American short-story writer and the first American woman to be elected to the prestigious Académie Française gave us the perfect definition of decency. "Morals are a matter of private agreement; decency is of public concern."
So how did this new National Decency Day come about? Lisa Cholnoky, a New York City-based parent and graphic designer, established National Decency Day in 2019 to continue a dialogue sparked by her motivation two years prior to addressing the divisive public discourse around her as well as in the news and on social media. She was determined to make a difference and set out to bring decency back into everyday conversations and actions. Cholnoky designed the DECENCY button and wore it every day. The impact was immediate; the message contagious. Dismayed at that time by the divisive public discourse around her as well as in the news and on social media, she was determined to make a difference and set out to bring decency back into everyday conversations and actions. Cholnoky designed the DECENCY button and wore it every day."
her ABC's of decency are easy to practice.
Active listening. Really hear what the other person is saying. Don't simply tune out messages you don't want to hear.
Better understanding. Try to adopt a better understanding of others and what's important to them. Especially when it differs from your own views!
Compassion. This means having, and showing compassion for others, regardless of who they are.
Children deserve to have great role models. And each of us can help teach children by treating everyone with common courtesy and decency. We were probably all taught what has come to be known as the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." My mom drilled that into my head as a young tadpole and she did the same for to my little brother, Quigley. And I'm sure glad she did! practicing the Golden Rule makes it much easier to get along with others. Whenever I'm tempted to lose my temper and blow my proverbial "gasket," I ask myself how I would want to be treated in this same situation. The choice becomes clear as day.
Basic decency means not ever taking advantage of another, especially when they are at their lowest point. Basic decency means understanding that each of us wants to be treated with friendliness and warmth. Basic decency means listening to others and computing what they say, not just nodding while mentally making out your 'to do list."
And don't get me started on politicians! Few of today's world leaders are showing decency to other leaders nor to the people who elected them to serve. I'll close today's blog on decency with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, "The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency." I urge everyone to contact their leaders and representatives and demand that they treat others with basic decency. Don't we ALL deserve that from our government officials? And decency begins with each of us. try and remember that today when you're tempted to treat someone as "less than." They are not. And you are better than that. Let's make decency cool again.
Please join me tomorrow for another life lesson from my wise teacher and dear friend, The Dharma Frog. Until tomorrow, I wish you all