Believe it or not, we are more polite today than we were one or two generations ago, according to one report in the weekend papers. Research by the Young Foundation finds that most people experience daily acts of kindness and courtesy, which is wonderfully gratifying amidst the gloom that currently surrounds us.
But perhaps the greater truth lies in another of their findings. This says that we hold great store by other people’s politeness, but don’t always recognise rudeness in ourselves.
Anyone who has to deal with email communication will instantly relate to this. Cyber speak, with its anachronisms and rapid fire responses, is often the cause of an innocent situation escalating into something more sinister.
Above all, the research proves that civility makes a big difference to people and needs to permeate all interaction on and offline.
But, then again, according to another report out last weekend, swearing is good for us.
In a ‘scientific’ experiment it has been proved that swearing helps us deal with pain. Although, this is only the case if we are the kind of person who doesn’t use expletives as a matter of course. If four letter words pepper your everyday language, swearing won’t help you in a crisis.
Which all goes to show that the words we choose to use can really make the world go round.