Decline in Civility and Social Norms

By Tim Cook -
Security Director

The challenges with Community Path safety (or the lack thereof) is nothing new. However, most would agree overall safety on our community paths has continued to decline. Although stats reflect cycles, and this year, golf cart complaints to security staff decreased 19.4%. Conversely, staff’s enforcement stats have increased 42.1 %. Literally dozens of articles, emails, and correspondences have been authored on this very subject, yet we continue to talk about it on social media, while golfing, during dinner, and to the extent a sub-committee of TLA’s Security Committee has been formed to take a closer, in-depth look at viable solutions.

In a 2010 study conducted by Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate who partnered with KRC Research (, an interesting finding was that 94% of Americans consider the general tone and level of civility in our country today to be a problem, with approximately two-thirds believing it is a “major” problem (65%).

Engineering and safety professionals often look for the root-cause analysis of an issue, and Phycologists ultimately look at why people do what they do.

Focusing on root-cause analysis, the question becomes is this decline caused by a new generation not being taught social etiquette, lack of knowledge, understanding, or acceptance? Maybe people just don’t care about their fellow citizens and are part of the “Me” generation? Studies also have indicated social media has led to a decline in this realm as well. Social media does have its benefits, but the negativity that we read every day and put out into the universe tends to make overall gracious behavior, acceptance, and willingness to be kind to your fellow human beings more of a struggle.

Civility can only come from you. The Community Path safety issues we continue to find challenging are directly related to civility and giving your neighbor due care. Rules governing the community paths are very clear, mostly common sense, and are directly related to behavior- based actions and…being civil.

This month Security’s Update on page 6 of this edition of The Landings Journal includes references to a few incidents of road rage within the community that exemplifies not only the lack of civility but potential criminal behavior that just doesn’t have a place in our community. Not that it makes much difference, but an interesting question was were the parties involved vendors or residents. Again, an interesting question. For the record, they were all residents. Phycologists could have a field day with most of the recent incidents, and how each person could have stopped at several points during the interaction and changed its outcome.

Please take stock of your personal accountability and help us solve the issues. If nothing else, prior to taking any actions or even speaking (or typing) in anger, refer to the old saying, “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” Be that agent of change, and the best change occurs when good intentions are the driving force.

In closing, we iterate it only is our best intentions to ask everyone to pause and reflect on the true root-cause of the issue, and to give our suggestion of being more civil a chance to make a positive change. We are committed to finding viable solutions, and we appreciate your partnership in the process.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

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