Whatever happened to manners?
I know I’m not alone in wondering this as it’s a frequent topic of conversation among my friends and the common factor between us all is that we have to use public transport on a daily basis, also known as a manners-free zone! In the last week I have traveled on three commuter trains with two small children for over an hour at a time when other passengers wouldn’t allow us to have the empty seat next to them, they must have been carrying diamonds or something because their luggage was precious enough to have a seat all of its own. You probably read that last sentence and thought if it was me I would have stood my ground and got someone to move, but here’s the clincher, I did stand my ground and all I got in return was every excuse under the sun and blank stares.
Does anyone say thank you anymore? You know like if you hold a door open for someone or if you stand to one side to allow them to get past? I’ve been stood waiting to get on a bus in the city, having stood there at the front of the queue for some time, only for a woman to barge in front of me when the bus actually arrived. When I tutted and loudly said ‘Oh I’m sorry was I going to sit in YOUR seat’ she turned around and replied ‘Go on you get on with the baby’ like she was doing me a favour? Another frequent incident on the buses is kids swearing. I’ve had to ask school kids on tons of occasions to stop swearing loudly in front of my kids, although 9 times out of ten they ignore me and continue calling each other every name under the sun at megaphone level.
When I was a kid (don’t worry this isn’t going to be War and Peace) I remember my brother getting a badge at Cubs for helping a woman with her shopping. Imagine witnessing a young lad approach a woman in Tesco to ask if he could carry her shopping for her, it’s just so out of character today.
I suppose the knock on effect of bad manner’s is retaliation. My frustration bubbled over during the bus queue incident and I retaliated to the rude woman and let myself down by getting angry, however if you continue to allow people to take advantage then how do you get anywhere in life, literally? If you don’t ask you don’t get a seat on the bus or train, if you don’t hold a door open for someone then why would they do it for you? How does that saying go again…..treat others as you want to be treated, yeah right if Barney can’t even teach manner’s to kids then we’re all doomed.