gets a reputation for incivility, but when I was out for my run today, whenever I started to cross a driveway or side street where a driver had pulled across the sidewalk/crosswalk, the driver backed up to make way for me.

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I think our reputation comes from a separate phenomenon—when confronted with egregious incivility, we respond in kind. So for example, when some jerk in a Jaguar blew through the crosswalk and nearly ran over a school crossing guard, the crossing guard hurled her 5 lb stop sign at the Jag and put a dent in it. And the owner had the audacity to complain about her to the police! What’s worse—a scratch that will buff out, or the potential of broken bones and organ damage?

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