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Rebuilding Civility

By Paul Caine

Since the beginning of COVID-19, have you noticed a marked decrease in civility? I especially see it while driving around the Valley. I’m not sure when a yellow light lost its meaning to many drivers. Once upon a time, it optimally meant you should slow down and prepare to stop (or less optimally, use those few seconds to finish getting through the intersection). Now, when a light turns green, if I’m the first car in line I know I need to stop and look both ways before proceeding, as so many drivers now seem to disregard red lights altogether. I’m sure you’ve seen it, too.

Is there a solution? Frankly, for some folks, I don’t know if anything will change this behavior. But I am trying to model civility even more than I usually do, in hopes that others will see it and decide to behave likewise. Maybe you can plan your time better, so you are not in a rush to get somewhere. Maybe being a few minutes late is not the end of the world. (I bring a book almost everywhere I go so I can use my time fruitfully if someone is running late for an appointment.) After all, we live where there are many retirees – what’s another 5-10 minutes? (and did you know a moving violation in Palm Springs will cost you $490? I found out the hard way!) Patience might improve your blood pressure, too!

So LET someone else go ahead of you – on the road, through a doorway, wherever. If you make a conscious choice to do so, then YOU have the power. Someone might like it so much that they will do the same for someone else. And then we will all be the better for it.



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