There is always a talk that we as a culture have forgotten our manners. The chivalrous days are long gone some say and I say… that’s bunk. I feel that people do nice, courteous things its just that we’ve forgotton our manners on how to say “thank you”. Its a slippery slope what I am about to enter with this article because I do not want to give the impression that I’m an ungrateful pig. Maybe I am. That’s why I need your help.
Is it wrong to get mad when you’re in traffic, waiting patiently for the light to turn green and you see someone trying to ease into the lane you’re in? Common courtesy is to go ahead and allow that person in. I have absolutely no problem with that. (There is an unwritten rule, though, that says you’re only allowed to let one car while waiting.) What urks me is when you let said car into the lane and that person doesn’t acknowledge the supreme sacrifice you just made with just A SIMPLE HAND WAVE. That’s all! This procedure lets us know that we live in a world where we can nice to each other and not worry about what lies ahead as a culture. Why is this so hard for people to comprehend? Now, the next time the opportunity arrives you second guess yourself if you should offer such a deed. And THAT is where we are as humans. Its not that we don’t want to help its just the notion that we will not get recognized for such a simple gesture.
Ok, this is the point of the story where you are thinking “You shouldn’t do something nice to expect a ‘thank you’ and if you’re doing for that, you’ve missed the point, Mitch.” Alright, that’s fair to think but as earlier stated, its human nature. Right?
Here’s another example that actually makes me sad more than it makes me mad. The other day I had taken my wife out to eat. This place was crowded to the point that “standing room only” is clearly a fire hazard. We were lucky enough to get seats in the waiting area and we sat down. My wife got up and left to powder her nose or whatever women do and told me to stay where I’m and we’d find other seats when she came back. At this point I looked up and noticed an elderly couple walk in. Being the awesome person that I am (humble too) I offered up my seat and the recently vacant seat next to me for the couple. They clearly heard me tell them that they could have my place and they took it. All I wanted was a moment in time to know that I just added joy to an elderly person’s life. I wanted to give them hope that the world isn’t such a cynical place and that love is all around us. I didn’t get one. Nadda, nothing. I think the woman, who could completely speak and understand English even looked at me weird.
At this point in my moral devistation, I accept that I have become the old guy that complains about the youth and how they have lost their civic dignity. Only its opposite. I’m complaining that the greatest generation before me doesn’t even do it. I would imagine that we’re not the ones reciprocating the love by acknowledging a kind gesture. From opening a door for someone to picking up something that a person dropped then running after them to give it back. We have to remember that kind deeds HAVE to go both ways.
I want to take the time now to thank you for reading this article.
What bothers you when it comes to the lack of common courtesies? Do you expect a “thank you?” Are you doing the deed for the wrong reason if you’re expecting you?
Rock forth, Mitch
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