Do you miss the old days when young people were well mannered? Look no further than a nearby private college campus. My city boasts of several colleges, including a state university. But two campuses nearby—an engineering college (#1 in the nation) and a small Catholic college– are bastions of the three R’s: Respect, Responsibility, Resourcefulness. Here, you will find an oasis of civility.
Although they are private schools, many of the students are not rich. Most receive some type of financial aid. But there’s something different going on . Students of every color, race, religion and nationality interact harmoniously, without rancor or prejudice.
How do these students stand out? First of all, they’re not loud. When you cross their path, they smile and nod.. They open doors and respect older people. The girls don’t wear shorts that look like underpants. The guys aren’t covered with tattoos. If you overhear them talking in public, their vocabulary is not filled with vulgarity and four letter words. No one gives you the finger. You never see them smoking.
If you go for Sunday brunch at the local college hangout, you can easily identify students from these two colleges. They carry on conversations in a normal tone of voice . Together, in one booth, you’ll see kids of different color and nationality talking seriously. They don’t jump the line or bump into other customers. Although I’m sure they are amorous as the students from other colleges, they don’t make a public show of affection.
Why the difference between public and private school students? Perhaps it’s because private schools are more focused on learning, and have more closely knit communities.
If you feel like American society is falling apart, drive out to one of these colleges and take a walk around the campus. Here, you will find an oasis of civility. If these young people are destined to be leaders of the next generation, our country is safe for our grandchildren.