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.   
Private college campuses are an oasis of civility, with serious students
If you’re looking for an oasis of civility, stroll around a private college campus.

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.

Private College Students are more focused on learning
Private college students form a more tightly knit community, focused on learning.

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.


Our weekend winds up  at 8:00 o’clock on Friday night, when we turn to the  Public Broadcasting channel on TV.   First, we listen to Washington Week in Review– a  panel of  left leaning  reporters who seldom disagree.  (Ho Hum)  But then, at  8:30, Indiana Week In Review comes on like a breath of fresh air. We are treated to lively, but courteous discussions,  with both political parties given equal time. The show  exemplifys the civility of Hoosier  politics, much needed at  the national level..

Indiana Politicians Exemplify Civility on Public Broadcasting

That’s not to say that Indiana Week in Review– moderated by Brandon Smith– is dull.  In fact, it’s much more lively and entertaining  than Washington Week in Review.  That’s because they have a balance between Republican and  Democrat panelists.  Rounding out the discussion are  Fort Wayne journalist Mickey Kelley, and Indiana Law Makers Host Jon Schwantes.

 Democrat Anne Delaney is full of passion.  She knows what she’s talking about, and  doesn’t mince words.  Sometimes, she gets pretty mad.  Her Republican opponent, Mike O’Brian,  gets worked up, too.  But just before they reach the boiling point, they back off, and agree to disagree. The moderator   maintains objectivity, and quickly changes the subject if it looks like someone is going off the deep end.

The Indianapolis race for mayor is  another  example of  Hoosier civility. During.their first public debate, Incumbent Joe Hogsett and his Republican challenger, Jim Merritt focused mainly on the issues. .  While the debate sometimes got heated, there  was no name calling or profanity.    Indiana politicians tend to  take a more measured approach. .

It appears that the politicians who live in middle America behave more respectfully with one another.  I’m sure some high falutin  political analyst can come up with a reason why this is true. ,  It may reflect the Midwestern culture,  where more  people come from  small  towns.  As opposed to big cities, they  interact with each other  on a daily basis through their churches, families, volunteer work and various other activities.  If you’ve ever ridden a subway, you know that rudeness is an acceptable  survival tactic among strangers in large metropolitan areas.

While profanity, name calling and rudeness are now the norm  in our nation’s  political arena, It doesn’t fly  here in  flyover country.