When did poor manners and courtesy become so outdated? What happened?
Last week Carol and I had the opportunity to go to Disneyland. While there most of the people we encountered were as kind and polite as one would hope. The few rude ones sure impact your experience. While in line it is common to have people to try to pass you so that they may rejoin their group. I understand this and we all accept that people need to reconnect.
During the entire day at each attraction what happened to us was that people would simply shove their way past you and then “after the fact” utter an insincere “excuse me.” In fact, most of the time you really heard, “scuze me”. Language arts teachers would cringe at the poor diction. During the entire day the words please and thank you weren’t uttered.
While driving on the freeways down in the Southland I saw folks who simply flaunt the laws and drive in unlawful and unsafe ways. A number of times while stuck in one of the six lanes of rush hour traffic, and moving along at 15-20 miles per hour, I would see a car speeding along the shoulder of the road for as much as a mile and then cut into the lane bypassing much of the traffic.
I know there is little impact on me but the damage to the fabric of society is great when folks simply believe that the laws don’t apply to them. They do it because they know there is little chance of a ticket, nobody will say anything, but mostly they do it because they are rude boorish people. Whatever happened to waiting your turn?
While in the area Carol and I and another couple had a chance to visit a very nice restaurant. This Private Club restaurant has policies that include dress code and age minimums for patrons. The family seated right next to us had shown up with very young children and the restaurant opted to be accommodating. The kids were nicely dressed so the manager probably felt “safe” in waiving the policy.
It ruined the experience for everyone else in the room. The children were bored so they threw food on the floor, screamed for the entire two hours we were there and the parents chose to ignore the impact on everyone else.
Frankly, when those “children from Hell” go to school I really pity the poor teachers who will have to deal with them. Their parents have already lost control and the boys were 15 months and three years of age. The parents were oblivious. There was nothing we could do but shorten our experience and leave.
We attended a graduation for a friend who has worked hard for five years toward his degree in fine arts. People arrived 15-20 minutes late, then stood in the aisle looking for a non-existent seat and blocked your view of the ceremony.
Others check their email during speeches, and others held their babies who should have been left with a sitter. The 2-month-old child cried and fussed and while that noise was heard by everyone within 40 feet the parent would be heard saying, “be quiet.”
I enjoy sounds of a baby as well as the next but there are times when a baby needs to be removed from the room. It’s not the baby’s fault. The parents need to think about others.
Our society seems to accept poor behavior as a fact of life and we seem to mock the proper behavior of those who do things in the correct manner. The excuse that everyone does it doesn’t make it right.
When I was growing up my parents never allowed my brother or me to address an adult by first name. It was always Mister, Misses, or Miss. The adults who were very close to my parents became, “Uncle” or “Aunt.” I still refer to the last surviving long-term friends of my folks as, “Uncle Earl and Auntie Shel.” I don’t want to lose that touch with them. My folks told us that a little deference to adults was healthy so that children did not see themselves as equals to our elders.
I don’t want to return to a society that is so formal that it is boorish; I just want to see a little more courtesy. Our area seems to be more mannerly than the urban areas and we need to keep that as a way of life. So if an out-of-towner or someone from the local area is a little rude, don’t stoop to their level and change because everyone does it.
We need to teach the kids in the community how to treat one another by example and not just with words.
Treat others as you wish to be treated is a Rule that is Golden.