During our stroll through the neighborhood Sunday afternoon, Jorge pointed out an old Dodge Diplomat at the edge of a concrete parking lot. We both commented that those cars used to be as common as dirt. Jorge added that one of his uncles bought a decommissioned Diplomat Police Interceptor. The uncle had the engine overhauled and the body repainted. He owned the car for about ten years.
I noted that the model name, “Diplomat” was a peculiar one for the Dodge brand. They usually had names like Challenger, Charger, Avenger, Dart, Viper, Ram, and Demon.
Jorge laughed at this observation and said he’d never thought of that contrast before. He’d always associated Dodges with their more sedate names like Monaco, Polara, Caravan, Coronet, and the previously mentioned Diplomat.
The old Diplomat triggered Jorge to say, “Dodge needs to revamp the Diplomat name and sell the cars to politicians and powerful people who have forgotten the true meaning of diplomacy.”
I mentioned that the U.S. used to be famous for practicing diplomacy. We had shining examples of it at the end of the second World War in both the European and Pacific Theaters. The peace and reconciliation have prevented another world war.
My friend noted that diplomacy is all about people really listening to each others’ concerns and needs. The countries or people need to build a strong foundation and develop a mutually beneficial relationship so they are more likely to talk together instead of shooting at each other when conflicts come up.
I added that a culture of diplomacy is sorely needed in America these days. There is so much divisiveness and strident negativity lately. Instead of this dog eat dog culture, we need more cooperation and empathy.
Jorge agreed. We all need to understand that it’s more than saying and doing what’s right at the right times; it’s not saying the wrong things at the wrong time or anytime. We shouldn’t be so fast to react.
It seems that there is so much defensiveness happening in our minds lately. We react to normal change and evolution out of fear and suspicion, not curiosity nor understanding. Change does not have to mean violent subjugation of others.
Jorge said that we need to bring etiquette and good manners back into society. Our culture, as a whole, has become crude and self-centered. People with good manners are much more considerate of others.
I mentioned that I have written about etiquette a few times on my blog. Skillful etiquette is a type of formalized diplomacy. Etiquette is the best social lubricant. The use of good manners prevents a lot of the harshness of interpersonal interaction.
My pal added that good manners keep our behavior more mellow. They encourage more listening. “People with good manners are more considerate of others, even those who do not have good manners.”
“Yes, a steady, friendly baseline for discussion.”
Jorge wistfully added, “We all need to be more diplomatic as individuals and as nations.”
“I think we need new kinds of heroes and heroines. Folks who make forgiveness, thoughtfulness, and diplomacy popular again.”
My friend laughed, “I still think Dodge needs to sell Diplomats again.”
“Hopefully all the world leaders would be required to drive or ride in Diplomats.”
Jorge winked and said “They would make Chrysler great again.”