This I Believe

Carolyn - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on October 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: respect

I believe in civility. I believe we need civility everyday in our lives instead of rudeness. I see rudeness everywhere around me. It is in schools, stores, traffic, carnivals, and basically everywhere. Rudeness comes in all different forms, such as pushing, mean words, aggressiveness, running, and no manners. It is my belief that we do not need incivility. //

One experience that I had with incivility was at a carnival when I was three years old. I was at the LaGrange carnival with my sisters. When I had already ridden the merry-go-round and train, I was excited to ride on the helicopter because it flew in the air. I had never been on the helicopter ride before and could not wait to try it. As I was getting on the helicopter ride, my sisters pushed ahead of me to get on the ride first. The ride operator failed to hold the door open, as I was getting in, so the heavy door slammed into my head, just missing my eye. Blood poured down my face. I had to be rushed to the hospital by the paramedics. If only someone had held open the door for me, then I would have not needed ten stitches. All in all, this was my first experience with incivility, an experience I have yet to forget. //

Another example of incivility that I experienced when I was little was having a next door neighbor, Kevin, with a disability. My neighbor Kevin had Down Syndrome. People on my block would never want to play with Kevin, because he was weird. He would sit at the curb and ask the kids on the block if they wanted to play with him. The kids would walk by and pretend not to hear him. I could not believe how mean the other kids could be. No one even gave him a chance. I did not care that he was different so, I played baseball and toy cars with him often. We both enjoyed each other’s company. //

One bad thing about rudeness is that it can escalate. One area it can appear in is driving. Drivers can cut people off, speed, drive through stop signs, and yell at one another. I am always shocked when I hear stories about drivers shooting other drivers in acts of road rage. The act of not being civil can lead to violence. //

In conclusion, I believe that civility is important in everyday life. It is so much more pleasant to hear “yes, please” and “thank you” than nothing or just grunts. Civility can help you make friendships and avoid accidents. It can be displayed in little acts of kindness, such as holding the door open for people and using simple manners. All in all, being a civil person makes you become a better person. //