Where have all the manners gone?

man·ner  (mnr)

1. A way of doing something or the way in which a thing is done or happens.
2. A way of acting; bearing or behavior.
3. manners
a. The socially correct way of acting; etiquette.
b. The prevailing customs, social conduct, and norms of a specific society, period, or group, especially as the subject of a literary work.
Ref: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/manners

In sociology, manners are the unenforced standards of conduct which demonstrate that a person is proper, caring, non-grouchy, polite, and refined.
Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manners

I expect the same manners and common courtesy I have towards others from others and am consistently disappointed. Maybe I should just lower my standards.

I went to an electronics store today. It’s located in a big shopping center. You know the type I am sure. It is one with several speed bumps in strategic places to slow traffic down. Near one of the speed bumps I noticed an older gentleman, I would guess in his upper 70s maybe older but you get the picture. He had a cane and was moving fairly slow looking both ways for an opening in traffic so he could make his way from the parking area to the sidewalk in front of the store.

When I saw him I slowed and stopped a good distance away giving him room and not crowding or making him hurry in any way. When he got to the other side he tipped his hat, a time honored indication of thank you. I waved back and continued on my way.

As I continued along towards my destination several others crossed my path. I again slowed and allowed them to cross. One such person, a young lady in her late teens or early 20’s never looked either way for traffic. She just walked right out “expecting” me and others to stop for her. She never acknowledged I apply the brakes to slow down so I did not crush her skull under the weight of my truck tire. She just continued on like I didn’t even exist.

As I continued past the young lady another person, this one a middle aged man in a wheel chair came speeding, yes speeding, out of one the stores. He looked briefly and continued with his momentum down the ramp and across the street quickly. Now first off he was in a wheel chair but he appeared to have an injured foot rather than permanently bound to the chair.

Granted, the young lady and the middle aged man are not required to thank you. It is just something that should be done. Especially when you just walking out into traffic no matter how fast the vehicles are traveling without looking. That is just plain arrogant.

Thirteen years ago my wife and I started an adventure called parenting. Ever since then I think we have done our best to instill basic manners, common curtsey and common sense in our son. We can see the evidence of our effort in deeds and hear it from others commenting on how well-mannered he is, My hopes are he passes this type of basic training along to his children.

The whole situation I just described of the older gentlemen past his prime and from an era where good manners meant something and then the other two. I see the lack of manners and common courtesy all over these days. Especially at service related businesses. I have to wonder why managers or owners would hire such people. It is and will always be a rub for me. I guess in the end as I mentioned this is my problem. I just need to lower my expectations towards others so I won’t be disappointed constantly.

Thank you for reading my blog.



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