Rebecca Hagelin

A very likely ripple effect from Sen. Boxer's petty complaint is that many may become afraid to practice simple courtesies, especially toward women. We can't allow our family members to be bullied into choosing the "safe" route and thus abandon acts of common decency. It's sort of like the quandary a male faces in wondering whether or not to open the door for a female, or if he should offer his seat on the subway or help a woman place a heavy bag in the airplane's overhead compartment. The shrill complaints of a few angry feminists have caused many to avoid eye contact and instead, to just look out for themselves.

We must teach our sons to value the concepts of respect and kindness enough to always be gentlemen, even if that means making themselves vulnerable to attack. And our young women need to be taught to accept the thoughtful gestures for what they are -- thoughtful gestures.

Showing and accepting kindness for and from others is the definition of civility, and our nation needs more of it. So, in the wake of this much-discussed rudeness by a prominent public official, let's make it an opportunity to remind our kids to always err on the side of respect.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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