There appears to be a war on kindness and civility; apparently, being thoughtful and compassionate toward one another has become passé.

The acceptance of violent behavior and coarse words still shocks me, and sometimes children act out in public with no reprimand from their parents.

Are we doing any favor to a generation by allowing them to think the rules of civility no longer apply?

Last week, here in Crestview, a 13-year-old boy was waiting at the bus stop. Apparently two teens drove by and one of them [allegedly] used a gun to shoot the boy.

What does this incident say about our culture? Has human life become so cheap and devalued that kids feel it is acceptable to shoot another person?

I partly blame violent video games and movies. Real life isn't a game and, when the game is over, the person who was shot doesn't get up unharmed and go on their way. There are real consequences to violent actions. Our prayers go with the young man who was shot and we pray for a speedy and complete recovery.

I was taught many good lessons and Bible verses in Sunday school. Two that come to mind are:

•Ephesians 4:32 — "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

•Psalm 139:23 — "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts."

If we put these verses into practice, our lives and the lives of others we touch would be improved.

Some difficult questions we need to ask follow:

Do we, as parents, practice forgiveness in front of our children?

Are we good role models?

Do we take responsibility for our actions, words and even thoughts?

Do we show genuine remorse when we wrong someone, and seek their forgiveness?

If someone wrongs us, do we forgive the person or look for ways to "get even?"

Remember, our children are always watching us and mimic our behavior.

We, as mature adults, need to model good behavior for our children so that they will grow up to be kind, compassionate and loving members of society.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.