In recent days, mariner and his wife have had family guests from both sides of the family. It is refreshing to experience the familiarity of family and at the same time feel grateful that, in the United States at least, life goes on despite the vulgarity of the headlines. Reality, too, plays out as friends and family suffer ailments and discouraging circumstances. The overview, however, is that life goes on – despite shootings, racism, war, social abuse and economic distress.
This is not to suggest that one should ignore or be indifferent to the vulgarity of our times. As a member of a democratic society of 350 million people each living an ongoing life, one still is inevitably linked to a responsibility to all 350 million citizens (a different kind of family) to take care of our democracy even as we are distracted by personal life experiences. That vulgarity is part of the nation’s social experience is a side effect of social change. The thesaurus offers other words for vulgarity: tasteless, lewd, licentious, rude and offensive among many more. Vulgarity is a litmus test that identifies dissatisfaction and stress. Vulgarity easily promotes a response of increased rudeness and offensive behavior which makes it hard for an individual or a society to ease vulgarity through compromise and compassion.
The tools one needs to be successful in managing stressful change are found in one’s ongoing life. It is important that life goes on. There is strength in familiarity that helps dealing with vulgarity. There is strength in family unity that helps dealing with vulgarity. There are feelings of security and day-to-day accomplishment that help to weather vulgarity.
Maybe it’s a good time to visit one’s family just to reinforce confidence and even satisfaction that there is a rational side to society. Maybe it’s a good time to take a deeper look at vulgarity to figure out how to make life go on in the midst of significant social change.