I took my grandkids to the Seacoast Science Center the other day to enjoy the beauty of where I live and give them a day to discover and basically play. It was a great day that ended up at the playground that was more of a ‘Ninja Obstacle Course’ then a playground.

My granddaughter is extremely athletic, so she ran up to the zip line in order to fly between two platforms. While she was waiting her turn, a young boy literally pushed her aside in order to get on the line first. My granddaughter just stepped aside and decided to leave the line, feeling a bit hurt.

I looked over at the mother of the young boy who was watching him play. She looked back at me and simply shrugged. I decided not to say anything for two reasons. One was because my granddaughter now became part of my right leg. The other was why would I promote a controversy that I couldn’t possibly win for, after all, we were at a fun place.

I feel this is the way our society is evolving. It seems the act of bullying is not only accepted but also considered a means to succeed. I am a retired teacher of multiple decades. For as long as I remember I was advised to watch for any bullying in my classroom. If, and when, this happened I was instructed to send the student to the office, at which time, he or she would be disciplined.
In fact, I still am in education as a substitute teacher.

Today, the schools still have assemblies showing their students why bullying is harmful to both the bully and the one being bullied. For the past couple of years I wondered how schools could teach their students this lesson as the President of our nation relies on bullying to keep his base strong. Thus I understood the reaction of the mother.

There are many parts of our society that seem to legitimize the act of bullying. Evangelical Churches are now openly and lawfully practicing politics by supporting the President with all his policies. The poor and the weak are under attack because it is explained we can no longer afford them.

Our medical system is also under attack because it became too expensive and why should anyone care about people who rely on those who have to support those who don’t. To me this is a form of bullying because I am sure those who don’t, didn’t make the choice to be where they are.

One of these policies includes illegal immigration. Actually, I’ve always been uncomfortable to label these people illegal because all they are looking for is a better life for themselves and their families. Our President states these people are animals and terrorists who want to kill our children by giving them drugs or by joining a gang whose primary recreation is torture.

This is also a kind of bullying because fear is a means of defining what isn’t. Sure there are people who migrate through our borders and do create havoc but not all because in reality we are all immigrants. My family, being of Italian heritage were called ‘WOPS’. Many never knew what this term meant.

Being curious I discovered the term is defined as; ‘without papers’. Nothing ever really changes because everything has a tendency to stay the same. The only difference is how we, as a society handle it.

Our media does not help the abrasive attitude in our society. The left has their MSNBC and CNN. The right has their FOX. I would love to see a series of panel discussions including all thoughts and ideas about how we should handle the future of our society.

My neighbor is a Trump supporter while I voted for Hilary Clinton. We talk politics as we take care of a garden we both share. I don’t always agree with him and he does not always agree with me but we listen to each other in a civil manner.

I don’t understand why our nation has to be divided by differing ideas because we as a nation are one and our future as a nation will be determined by how well we can communicate with each other.

Webster defines civility as: polite without being friendly. We hear a lot about being civil in our nation. My grand kids future depends on a nation that is civil.

The End.

What is the definition of civility?

By Jim Fabiano is a retired teacher and writer living in York, Maine.