Our Sunday Best
Remember when people used to put on their “Sunday best” to go to church. Now people show up in shorts, t-shirts and flipflops. People also used to dress up, or at least look presentable when they would take a plane; and before that a train. There was a sense of community, both geographic and social, and we showed respect for one another. I know, I’m dating myself. I was raised with a sense of dignity and discipline. Children were to be seen and not heard, they were to be respectful of adults, and to not draw attention to themselves, especially by volume. Nowadays children run around stores making noise, or bang on the table in restaurants and their parents seem quite blasé about such behavior. Back in those old days, even during the early days of women’s lib, men opened doors for women. Today, such chivalry is likely to be sneered at by the political-correctness police. Meanwhile young women are flipping off other drivers with a regularity I didn’t see among young men from the wrong side of town. When I speak in such terms, I wonder if I don’t sound like the crotchety elders of way back when, complaining about the behavior of my peers. Perhaps I do feel a degree of nostalgia for the grace, humility, and courtesy of yore, but it’s more than that. I think we are too many rats in the box, and that our social senses are over-loaded. I believe that intrinsically we are moral people who would naturally choose good over evil, but we have become overwhelmed by life today and are unable to be as discerning as we once were. Mencken noted “The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.” All too often in our society, people who are caught don’t regret their discreditable acts, only that they’ve been caught. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how many laws are written unless the people are committed to doing what is right. And that’s SetonnoteS…I’m Tony Seton.