What America needs is a dose of courtesy

Here it is, only Jan?uary, and it already feels like we?ve lived a full year. Another missing plane, politicians up to their old tricks, South Korea censoring movies, and Islamic terrorists all over the place….

I?m already tired, and we still have 11 more months of 2015 to go!

If you?re waiting for my New Year?s resolutions, you might have a while to wait. I don?t make any. After all, one of the meanings of the word resolve is to solve again. Now why would I do that if I already solved the problem?

I do have something I need to get off my chest. My mom always told me to be nice, but I know the difference between being nice and being spineless.

Everyone these days seems to be so concerned about political correctness. You don?t dare say anything for fear of offending someone, somewhere, somehow. Well, I?ve just about had it with that. So, here goes.

Warning: you may be offended.

First, we?re Americans. Unless you personally came here and swore an oath of citizenship after being born somewhere else, you?re an American. Sure, take pride in your heritage (I know I do), but don?t get offended if someone doesn?t refer to your ancestors? continent of origin. Most people (the ones who matter anyway) don?t care what you look like, as long as you act like a decent human being.

Second, if you find yourself referring to sections of the populace in general as an insult, you?re probably the one with the problem. Gen?eralizing a group of people makes it harder to identify with individuals. That goes for any income class, skin color or religion, in case you were wondering.

Third, while we are a culture made up of a blend of many cultures, don?t come here and insist that everyone conform to your culture. If you liked it so much, you should have stayed home.

While most everyone is happy to make a few compromises and inclusions, that should be a two-way street. After all, if it?s rude to go to someone?s house and insult their furniture and drapes, it?s in even worse taste to try that on an entire country.

Our Founding Fathers came up with this Constitu?tion thing, and it?s worked pretty well for us so far.

I think what bugs me the most about this last point is when publishers like Oxford House say they won?t publish anything about pigs, because they don?t want to offend Muslims. Huh? So we?re not supposed to enjoy pork or pork products, or even know anything about swine, because someone might be offended? Even childrens? series like Peppa Pig have been targeted as the cause of great offense.

Seems to me the common sense answer would be to publish or air those things, and if anyone is offended by them, they have the choice to not read or watch those things.

Of course, the surest way to get me to do something is by telling me that I can?t. So, bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon. Just because, bacon. And sausage, because I prefer it to bacon.

See? There was that wonderful free speech thing at work. I even warned everyone before I offended them. Cool, right? Calm down.

The way I see it, every single person, simply by breathing, is offending or will offend someone else. The problems happen when a few people get together and decide who or what to include or exclude in their political correctness.

That bit about pork just now? Pigs are unclean to Jews too, but you don?t see anyone bending over backwards to accommodate that, do you?

That cartoon about Mohammed that got people killed? Funny, but I didn?t see that response when some yahoo put a crucifix in a jar of urine. How many jokes are made every day at others? expense?

You see, we get so caught up with blanket courtesy, we forget simple personal courtesy. Being polite to everyone we met used to be common. Now, it?s become a tightrope walk with the PC pit yawning beneath us.

It?s so much easier to just make rules that apply to everyone . . .or is it? Sure, it feels like we?re doing the right thing, to make sure everyone feels happy and included. But we forget that just because we think they should feel happy and included, maybe they don?t. Maybe they don?t want to be included. Or worse, maybe they want to harm us.

Folks, I feel like I?m watching my country fall apart, and PC is the problem. We?re so fixated on our labels that we forget that there are actual people here?people who have more in common with each other than we know.

America can only stay great as long as We The People keep her that way, and that starts not with blanket political correctness, but with personal courtesy.

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