In this day and age, there is a lot of negative, unpoliced energy floating around in the social ether. Critically acclaimed movies with hopeful Oscar potential portray dysfunctional family members sarcastically hurling cruel and harsh insults at one another. For example, in one scene in “The Descendants” Shailene Woodly’s character brutally and unceremoniously puts down her younger sister in a way that seems overly harsh and unnecessary. And while I don’t really expect that Shailene would ever treat her sibling in real life that way, it does show a pervasive attitude in today’s society that it is perfectly OK to disparage people without a thought or concern to what that is really doing to the other person or to what that is really doing to relationships in general.
Treating a person with that much distain and disrespect is simply wrong. Now you might say that I am overreacting because it’s to be expected that siblings will treat each other poorly at that age. That is possibly true but that is just one example.
The point is that the language and the ferocity that is used against another person cause relationships to unravel and break apart. It adds to the dysfunctional condition that might already be present and it is likely a good candidate for the dysfunctional condition in the first place. We only have to look to Congress to see how the lack of respect Republican and Democratic members have for each other to see what I am talking about.
No dialog can be started to get any deal hammered out because each is too busy hurling insults at the other. And that only increases the contempt each has for the other. How likely are you going to want to start a dialog with somebody if they are hurling absurd and unnecessary insults at you? Probably, not very likely. Thus, the reason for the “do nothing Congress” we have today.
To cure this condition that has inflicted our social conscious and to get society moving in positive directions again requires us to start with some basic rules of civility. There was a time period, not too long ago, where people referred to each other formally as Mr., Miss or Mrs. After a period of time, when you were allowed to know the person a little better, you might be “on a first-name basis.”
Now, I am not advocating that we need to go back to using formal salutations, although, I would not discourage it either. I am advocating that showing respect for another person is absolutely required if we want a society that is less crippled by the dysfunctional phenomenon that seems to be so pervasive in today’s culture. There is a lot to be said about the old adage: “Don’t judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” Showing respect for another human being whose appearance, social upbringing, habits or opinion might be different from your own is the only way we can cure the Condescending Mindset. And Curing the Condescending Mindset is absolutely necessary and the only way we can begin to cure the problems with congress and the rest of the dysfunction that plagues today’s American Society.