Manners... or Lack of
Thanks to Kwadwo Kwarte on Flickr
I ensured my children were raised with manners. Old school manners in fact. They open the door for women and the elderly. They offer a coat when their wives or girlfriend get cold. They will excuse themselves if a burp sneaks out in public. I fear though that many of the other manners I taught them have gone down hill with the rest of the world.
I am amazed at the lack of manners in society today. Oh I can hear you, "The youngsters now-a-days have horrible manners!". I do not mean just the young, I mean people in general! I am surprised, nay, horrified at how many people seem to have forgotten their manners. I know that in my parents era and my era as well we were all taught to "do unto others" and politeness was a key ingredient in that.
On a recent trip to town, I seemed to run into bad manners wherever I went. At the supermarket, where an elderly lady found herself trapped by shopping carts. As I arrived I could see she was looking for a way out but the other patrons were blocking her cart and not noticing. I felt badly for her so took matters into my own hands and I asked the aisle blockers if they would mind moving to the side so we could get through. I received rather dirty looks from one, an "Oh, sorry" from another, but the aisle was cleared. I too moved to the side to allow the elderly lady to go by. With out a word, just a scowl on her face, she brushed past me! If someone were to do this for me I would say a "Thank you" on the way by or at the least smile and nod an acknowledgment of their help. She saw that I meant to help her.
Now of course this is up and foremost in my mind this day, so I notice every little breach of manners that is around me. The grocery clerk, who with his very large cart full of boxes, I had to move out of the way for when I was standing in the checkout line. A well mannered young man would have said "Thank you.". I guess he wasn't well mannered, as he just pushed by! The man who cut me off on purpose while I was trying to get into another lane. The women who pulled into a parking spot even though it was clear I was waiting for it. The "lady" who failed to say thank you when I held the door open at Zellers for her and her baby carriage. The rude salesclerk, that when asked where I could find a certain object, pointed and said "over there" and walked away. The man standing in line sneezing away and not one "Excuse me!" to be found.
Now I will say this was exceptional this particular day. I do find that for the most part people in my small town are usually helpful and have good manners, from the salesclerks to the general public. Regardless, I am seeing more and more ill mannered persons throughout my travels.
Manners seem to be dieing away. That is reflected in the young of today as well as the elderly .It will not change me though. I will remain pleasant and mannerly. I will say ( in a loud voice) "You are welcome!" to the lady who didn't say thank you when I opened the door for her. I will refrain from giving the guy who cut me off the finger and just, instead give him and evil smile. The "I'll get you later, my pretty!" type of smile. The rude store clerk will still get an "Thanks so much for your help and concern!" reply and the sneezing man will get a "Bless you!". Does this way off responding to rudeness constitute rudeness itself.? Probably and for that I am truly sorry! (See? Manners!)