When I was young, there were topics considered taboo for polite discourse. Talk about intimate activities and functions were, of course limited to the immediate family. While some subjects, such as finances and health issues, might be discussed with close friends, it was felt that religion and politics should never be brought up in general conversation to avoid unpleasant disagreements. It was understood that feelings run high and individuals’ deeply held opinions often vary when it came to topics of faith and politics. Those were days when it was considered rude to pick fights and start arguments over personal opinions and feelings.
Back in those long ago times it was also considered tacky to “air one’s dirty linen in public”, but that quaint caveat has also passed into history in these days when people whose actions would once have been condemned as infamous are touted as celebrities or even “stars” for their bad behavior.
In our current culture many people seek out confrontation, both in private and in public, as outrage has edged baseball as the national pastime. Being a good sport is no longer valued and failing to protest at every real or imagined slight is sneered upon.
I sometimes long for the days of civility and good manners. While I can’t turn back the calendar, I can, at the very least, keep my own speech and behavior in line with the old-fashioned standards and attempt to bring a bit of polite conversation into my own little world.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.-Matthew 5:9 (NIV)