On Behaving Well in Groups

August 5, 2022- The old friend could not, by all seeming, help himself. The rash of cuss words just flew off his tongue, for no particular reason other than that they came to mind. The women around us ignored the spate of profanity, and seemed to be in their own worlds. I kept my own diction in a socially acceptable framework, though I recognize that it may have been a good idea to gently and firmly ease him out of that pattern of speech.

It has been customary for parents to stress to their children that they must be polite at home, when visiting family, at a House of Worship, and in the neighbourhood. The best of parents have included school, eateries and stores in that regimen. The idea has been to build a good personal code of conduct. Not embarrassing one’s family has been a good deterrent for most, but not all.

In the Baha’i Teachings, and among others whose social consciousness is elevated, the idea of behaving well in groups, because it is a key feature of building a society based on the oneness of mankind, and because it helps build a listening culture, rather than a knee-jerk reacting culture.

I have come a long way, since 1980, in that regard, especially. There were lapses, between then and now, but they were made reparable by the culture of learning from one’s mistakes, by the qualified forgiveness of those I hurt and by the overarching power of said Teachings, which are to be applied personally, with minimal, if any, social pressure-yet have the force of practically reinventing a person, by stressing one’s strengths and letting weaknesses flow out and fade away.

I choose to act as a counterweight to boorish personalities, these days, while remembering all the times when I was one of them-and not wallowing in those memories.

2 thoughts on “On Behaving Well in Groups

  1. I was concerned for my sons’ use of profanity but I made it perfectly clear that I would not abide that kind of talk in the house. They gradually outgrew the need to punctuate every sentence or thought with that kind of language. Now I don’t fear that they would use improper language in the presence of any lady or when interacting in public… Perhaps it is a matter of maturity??

    Liked by 1 person

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