Dear Sirs and Madams:
The dropping of the traditional salutation "Dear" is one small symptom of the greater, growing gargantuan problem of a loss of civility as a society in our prosperous country. We are loosing our grip on civil behavior, civil dress, civil discussions and debate, civil listening skills and civil writing skills.
As an etiquette and manners teacher for the past decade with another decade in the retail bridal business, I have noticed a slow but steady relaxation of formality, and decline of civility in our society.
Teenagers up for college scholarships come to me to learn how to correctly manipulate their knife and fork. Families no longer eat together nightly at the dining room table or the kitchen table as each family member is on their own computer with dinner on their desks. Television producers pit 24 hour news anchors and talk show hosts against their guests, everyone interrupting each other and yelling over each other during debate for the purpose of the ratings dollar. Kids are being rushed in spacious SUV's to school soccer games on Sundays while texting shorthand on their own cell phones. Children are also being driven through the drive through for a kids meal which they eat with their fingers while they play with their computer games.
The "Golden Rule" in civilized societies continues to be: "He who has the most gold rules." As compared with the rest of the world, we have much "gold" in our lives in this wealthy, civilized country yet we are loosing our attention spans, loosing our pants to the ground, loosing our rhetoric and written commentary, loosing our family time to computers and TV, and lastly, our little charming, civil salutations to political correctness and the tremendous, stressed pace of the newest, latest and greatest technology, and for what reason?
p.s. As I am writing this letter, a Congresswoman and 18 other American citizens have been shot in Arizona....Now, we are loosing not only our civilities, but our souls...How as a nation shall we ever regain our dignity and civility?