In Praise of Decency


I found myself thinking about decency after wanting to tear down a campaign sign in my neighborhood. I wanted to yank it out of the grass.

I wanted to rip it apart, stamp on it, put my candidate’s sign in its place.

Is that what a good neighbor does, I thought, shocked at myself.

The word “be decent” sprang to mind.

Oh, I wondered. Has outraged replaced decency in my heart?

Decency. That’s a calming word. It brings to mind good manners. Civility. Treating others the way you would like to be treated.

It’s a cooling word. It cooled my far too easily provoked anger.

It’s a word my dad used. He was always such a decent person. He always did the decent thing.

It’s a terrifying time. Hatred is killing innocent people. Decency is not a big enough stand to take, no, it’s not enough, but it’s a good foundation to keep returning to.

In these times of hate and violence, can we each be a stand for decency? In our workplaces, on social media, in our neighborhoods.

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