Just Be Nice
James Q. Wilson have described as the elevation of self expression over and over self control. Such as a black child was discipline in a Connecticut (1996)for wearing his pants sagging. Stephen Carter’s summary “Just Be Nice” starts out by talking about how life was different back in the day compared to how life is today. Children were taught right and wrong, yes mam and no sir and just simple rules of etiquette in school. Now teachers have to be very careful on what they talk about with students. He believes that if these types of things were taught in school more openly today, then everything would be less violent.
Carter then goes on to explain the reasons he feels that society is not trying as hard as it could be. He believes people are more focused on trivial things, then the important things. Carter feels schools have gotten rid of greatly needed academic school programs for less academic inclined programs. Carter makes several very good points on why society in this age is vastly different than what it was decades ago. He believes that society as a whole group must work together to handle things better, so that society may learn to love each one another again and not just tolerate other people.
Carter also believes people are mean to each other because they have the right to be and can get away with it. The constitution is there for a reason, but sometimes those rights can be used and abused. “We have let cynicism replace civility. ” (672). The world is a bit cynical. Carter explains that even the simplest gesture can become a problem. He feels that people are afraid to do anything nice, for fear of it back firing. Everyone is suing everyone, and that has major consequences. Accidents happen, so sometimes you just have to trust that they didn’t mean to hurt you.
There are people in this world that do abuse our freedom of speech, like Carter says. Many children (and adults) cuss severely on a day to day basis, and need to understand that language is a key element in what happens next in life. If a person talks foul, then they receive foulness. If you talk nice, however, you receive niceness back. It all depends on how you act and react to things. If we as a whole try to improve our foul mouths and attitude’s, the world would be a happier place. Cussing and acting up in public is very inappropriate and people should respect other people by not doing it or trying to dial it down.
It is hard to do because this generation grew up doing it and habits are very hard to break. Carter makes some very good points in throughout his essay. Everyone on Earth is raised differently, so no two people act the same. But regardless of where we live, who we are and how we grew up, we are all taught one very specific and golden rule, “Treat others as you would want to be treated and have respect your elders. ” Stephen L. Carter: Just Be Nice In the essay Just Be Nice, written for the Yale Alumni Magazine and later included in “Civility Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy”, Stephen L.
Carter addresses several issues in today’s society. He describes the differences in common courtesy, freedom of Speech, and polite etiquette, while expressing his opinions on manners between the older generation and the new age generation in today’s society. Carter also compares the normality’s of today’s society to the time when he was growing up. He partly blames society’s etiquette problem on this generations youth and school systems, he suggests that schools are not disciplining children like they used to and are always under constant scrutiny by todays parents.
Carter states that when he went to school in the 60’s teachers and parents were different then they are today. He implies that the modern person takes hard earned rights for granted and gives examples that show people today do not understand the difference between a want and a right. Just because you want to do something, does not necessarily mean it is your right to do it. In his article, Carter compares life today to life in the past. At the heart of heart Carter’s argument are the notions of manners, civility and differences in generational ages.
Carter believes that the standards of civility have declined immensely; people have forgotten how to conduct themselves and don’t trust anyone. He believes if we “place our trust in the vague and conversation stifling language of rights instead. )((paragraph. 4). ” This means that if we trusted each other more, then everyone would be more civil with each other. The author states that nowadays when a school tries to discipline misbehaving youths or teach simple rules on manners, it is a crime and it makes news. Carter implies that when he was a child, schools would have classes dedicated to manners, and parents trusted the school’s judgment.