If you’ve ever endured watching even 15 minutes of TV with me, you’d know that I watch TV just as much for the commercials, trend-spotting and cultural insights as for the programming. And I’m vocal about what I see. It was with just this lens that I watched The Hilton Family’s latest “Be hospitable” commercial. It really pulled me in. Perhaps because our county’s own “Choose Civility” initiative. Perhaps because the tone of the commercial seemed a bit different to me.
Well, I checked out their website, and lo and behold, they got themselves a whole campaign on the subject including a website for collecting, mapping and posting “hospitality sitings.” From their site: “If you see an act of human kindness, report it here. Together let’s start of movement of goodwill throughout the world.” Overall, it’s pretty groovy. They even have a section for parents with tips and info about helping kids be more hospitable at an early age, a concept which ties in easily with being civil.
I know some people think Howard County’s Choose Civility initiative is a crock of —. Another campaign for another cause. I’m of a different ilk. I think that the library and county was right on target in creating this initiative … even ahead of the curve. I’ve been seeing signs of a new cultural mood of civility in advertising for the last 12-18 months, and, I’d predict, it will be on the rise.
If you do check out the Be Hospitable site and read the stories, you’ll probably note the author’s voice imprint. It appears, at least to my ears, that current stories are written (or at least edited) by the same person. Perhaps, in time, real people will write in.
For now, I have my own version of this concept in two local forms: one is a blog I co-write with my Thinking Buddy Cherie, and the second is a Facebook group wherein people can post “civility spottings.”
There’s a whole generational lens on this subject as well, but that’s another blog post for another day.