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Reader Challenge of the Week: Coarseness and Cultural Despair

Two days after Christmas, on Sunday, December 27, my husband Charles and I were fortunate enough to attend the Jets versus Patriots football game at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey.

Our seats were near the 50 yard line, and we were especially blessed to have record-setting 60 degree weather. It was a very exciting game, and the team we were rooting for (the Jets) won in overtime.

But despite the fabulous tickets, lovely weather, and our desired outcome of the game, there was an ugliness that surrounded us.

Foul language was a constant, from the parking lot as we walked to the stadium to the majority of people in our seating section. There were very descriptive death wishes for Tom Brady (the New England quarterback), shouting matches between fans of opposing teams, people so drunk that security had to escort them out, and an obnoxious amount of litter scattered on the ground.

Family friendly it was not. 

Then I had my own challenge: what does one do in such circumstances? I can't control how much alcohol people consume or that they dispose of their garbage properly. But could I dare to censure the constant barrage of curse words that many around us kept speaking (or screaming)?

There is no doubt rudeness has taken over our society. The examples seem endless: road rage, cutting in line, letting a door slam into the face of the person behind you, dog excrement being left on sidewalks, people talking loudly (sometimes about very personal matters) on their cell phones, leaving shopping carts in the middle of parking lots.

I believe this coarseness is a significant reason why so many of us feel our country is headed in the wrong direction. There are many problems at home and abroad, of course, but challenges have always been with us. It is the day to day witnessing of and being a victim to rudeness that is why many feel cultural despair.

I've identified four reasons why society is more discourteous now than ever before:

1. Globalization - the outsourcing of jobs has created unprecedented competition of the workforce, with employees fearing for their jobs and working much longer hours.

2. Materialization - couples have big mortgages for their big homes and fancy lifestyles, thus forcing both to work long hours, rush in traffic to pick up their kids from daycare, and generally be exhausted and overwhelmed.

3. Isolation - computers, video games, and all those other gadgets are isolating people from each other, and in addition people are increasingly living far away from other family members.

4. Secularization - with the foundation of religion eroding, fewer people are being taught how to love their neighbor.

I have compassion of those who are impolite. Yes, I truly felt sympathy for the two young men Jets fans behind us who used the f word at least once in every sentence and who sincerely wished Brady would break his back.

Because people who are rude do not know how to treat others the way they themselves would want to be treated. Perhaps they do not even know how to love themselves.

My challenge was solved by Charles. Shortly into the first quarter, he said very loudly to no one in particular, "Can everyone watch their language in front of my wife, please?" A moment later he cheerfully added, "Thank you!"

He is my hero, because so often he has the courage to do what I wished I had done for myself.

For the rest of the game, the curse words from our area were only sporadic. I did, however, hear expletives being shouted from other seating sections, as they perhaps did not have any advocate for more civilized public speech.

This New Year I've resolved to not be silent when I am witness to or a victim of rudeness, and I invite everyone to join me and share their stories with me. I will be polite and will use the words please, kindly, and thank you. But I will speak up.

This will take courage. But I'm determined to attempt. Let us join together to transform our culture back to a more polite and considerate one.
By: Kristia Markarian

Reader Challenge of the Week: Tips on Being a Good Host/Hostess

There is perhaps no other time of the year when homes are open to guests as often as December. The ending of the year, along with the many winter holidays, offers reasons to host luncheons and dinners and other fun events.

I've received some emails asking about things someone can do to best welcome others into their home. Below is one of them:

Hi K - Can you please give me some tips on being a good hostess? I want to take care of my guests but I feel flustered with paying attention to cooking...
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Etiquette Lesson 2: How to Be a Gracious Thanksgiving Day Host or Guest

I've always admired Jackie Kennedy's mixture of glamour and elegance. As the above picture shows, she combined those two traits flawlessly while wearing her famous three-strand pearl necklace.

She looks so comfortable in the photo, calming lighting candles preparing for a dinner party. For several years Jackie went to a "finishing school," where she was taught etiquette such as how to be the perfect hostess, so it is understandable how she appears so relaxed.

My heart in teaching these...
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Manners Are the Great Equalizer

Imagine that you are at a dinner party with two guests seated across from you. Guest A is pleasant to everyone, however, they use the incorrect forks with courses and never use a knife. Guest B holds and uses their...
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Tea With Eleanor (Roosevelt)

One month plus one day ago, Charles and I had a wonderful experience on Campobello Island in Canada that I'd like to share with you. In a previous post I wrote about our exploring the peninsula that belonged to...
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Etiquette Lesson 1: How to Politely End a Conversation With an Irrational Person

Many years ago, I took a several-weeks long etiquette course from a lady of aristocratic European descent. Out of great care for my reader friends, I will be sharing with you the lessons I learned, so all of us can have the manners that matter.

"Never argue with stupid people...They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -Mark Twain

Is it just me or has the population of irrational people dramatically increased in this world? And I don't just mean a little odd,...
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I am glad you’re here!

This website is for ALL of us. CHONJ is a compassionate community that strives to be positive and uplifting as we help and connect with one another.

My name is Kristia Cavere Markarian. My husband, Charles Markarian, and I are soulmates who spend practically every minute of the day together. Our goal is that you feel better about yourself and the world every time you visit our website.

There are many challenging situations we are facing today, from being overscheduled and overwhelmed, to facing technological distractions. We want to assist you in navigating through all these circumstances, so you can become the best you are meant to be. We will help you become the hero of your life’s journey.

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