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Lost manners are the broken windows of civil society

Although this blog is about fashion for mature women, this week I felt compelled to address a different topic.

The ‘broken windows’ theory of criminology, first posited in a 1982 article by social broken windowscientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, describes how social disorder and vandalism are harbingers of more serious crimes to come. The theory says that if smaller crimes can be prevented or stopped, they will in turn stop more serious crimes.

From my view, broken manners are the broken windows of civil society.

We have seen the erosion of common courtesy and respect over the last 30 or so years. At first, a shrug-worthy incident: failing to open doors, say good morning or hold the elevator, for example, provides a minor annoyance. But what happens when it escalates? Enter colourful language and extensions of certain fingers. Enter road rage – at first horn honking, then yelling, and then violence. Enter someone shooting someone else.

But what if these scenarios played out differently? Instead, common courtesy would see one driver let another into a lane, or forgive a turn with miscalculated timing. Courtesy would understand that we all have places to go. Kindness would understand that we are just human beings who make mistakes.

I’m no social scientist, but I believe that basic respect and courtesy toward one another could go a long way to turning the tide on social disorder.

So the next time you have the choice to be rude or kind, pick the latter. We’ll all be better off as a result.

 

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Advice to my younger self

Suntanning with baby oil in the 70s was a huge mistake – since my 30s I’ve woanti-wrinkle cream SPF 30_box and bottlern sunscreen on my face everyday. But in my teens I oil-roasted my skin recklessly. THE FIX: Use @reversa_canada Anti-Wrinkle Cream.

Live for each day, don’t diet for tomorrow – I have spent my entire life on a diet. Moments when I did indulge were met with immediate guilt. Life’s too short. THE FIX: everything in moderation. Live for today.

Don’t worry so much what others think of you – I have also WASTED time worrying about what others thought of me. The truth is, we over estimate how much other people actually think about us. Dr. Phil says: If you truly knew how little time people spend thinking about you… THE FIX: Focus on being the best person possible and don’t worry about the haters.

st-john-knits-r16_lookbook_15_bFind yourself in order to find your style/don’t mindlessly follow the trends – it’s important to really understand who you are. Are you a frilly, lacy girly-girl? A practical, no fuss sporty girl? A quirky, funky boho girl? THE FIX: Understand your personal style and stick to that. Don’t mindlessly follow every trend.

Frumpy, dumpy is never in style – There comes a time in your life where you think you can no longer wear sexy, trendy clothes and you’re left only with stretchy pants and over-sized Ts. NO! THE FIX: There are age-appropriate styles for everyone.

Have fun. Don’t be afraid to live life on your own terms.