Manners and Common Courtesy

Pet peeves are often written about in blogs, so this isn’t anything new. I have to ask though, what happened to manners and common courtesy?

My wife and I were leaving the pet store after looking at Bearded Dragons last night; not for us, but our daughter is buying one in a couple of weeks. As we leave the store to venture into the cold, I hold the door open for an older man who was coming into the store. Nothing. Not a word was said aside my comments made under my breath.

I just don’t understand. I didn’t have to hold his door. As a matter of fact, it slows me down but a good two seconds as I try to get in my van and out of the cold. He should be thanking me. But more so, he should want to thank me; or anyone else who does the courtesy regardless of the weather. Holding a door isn’t a big deal, but I know from being a kid once, as we all were, you said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to people. Maybe this guy wasn’t ever a child. Maybe this guy didn’t have the best upbringing or parents to show him manners and common courtesy.

On a side note, as I sit in my living room and write this, two children just walked across my yard on their way to school. Why? Who told them it was okay to walk across my yard? Maybe I’m getting crotchety in my age…I’ll be 37 this year.

Anyways. The truth is, if this was an isolated experience, I probably would not have minded so much. He must have had a reason for not acknowledging my existence on earth. He must have a story. We all do. It doesn’t excuse poor manner though.

So what about cashiers and fast food? Am I the only one who has noticed the perceived inconvenience I cause them by requiring their services? Sometimes, after the order is processed I wouldn’t even know the total cost if there weren’t a digital display to show me. I guess there are a lot of mute employees in our city. They have forgotten this ever vanishing phrase, “Hi.” So simple, yet lost on a new generation? I hope not.

Maybe they didn’t learn the needed social skills to function in a civil society. Common sense isn’t that common I know.

I haven’t travelled too much of the world, but I have been across Canada, to Russia, to Cuba and through many of the eastern states. Most people know how to be polite, especially southerners and maritimers. Most people take a five second break from their life to note your existence and will have a conversation with you. In fact, they might even start one! You had better be ready!

This culture of incompetence, this society of anti social personalities seems to be more prevalent in cities. Especially in Ontario. Definitely in my city. If we took the time to get to know people, including our neighbours, I would venture a bet that we would be a happier society and we wouldn’t need to feel a desire to shelter ourselves from others. It’s just rude. Remember the golden rule? Treat others as you would want to be treated? If that is still the case, we are in for a load of trouble.

But everyone has a story.

t

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