Oh where, oh where do I begin? I'm sure someone will get offended, but you know what? This is some tough love. People are 'getting away' with these behaviors because we, as a society, let them slide by. It's not right, it is not ok. Am I the only one who thinks this? (Rhetorical). lol.
Starting off with the super duper basics of MANNERS and progress from there:
- If there is someone behind you closely, push/hold the door for them. The whole sliding through when I am one step behind is the epitome of RUDE
- Get off your phone!!! In the checkout, with the cashier; on a shuttle bus to the airport for all of 5 minutes; in the elevator. You are not that important. Unless it is a dire emergency - and judging by the conversations I have heard, it is not; do everyone a courtesy and just WAIT. Wait the 5 minutes it will take you to not be in a public space.
- Stop Replying ALL on every email. Do all 50 people really need to know that you will not make it? It's just cluttering up EVERYONE's inbox.
- If you don't CARE how I'm doing then don't ask me. Saying "Hi, how are you?" has just become a phrase. Just say hi. I will not be offended. Because when I answer the 'how are you?' and you are down the hallway, that is pretty OFFENSIVE.
- Look people in the eye. Acknowledge their existence. Stop looking at your watch like you have better places to be. If you did, you'd be there. The constant reminder that the world revolves around you and everyone in your path is less important doesn't seem a LITTLE selfish to you? When did we become these little self-absorbed beings? (#Selfie did not help)
- If you don't want to go somewhere or do something then just say "No." This idea that if you just ignore it, it will go away, is sooo mean. Someone took the time to invite you somewhere. They need a headcount for the food and logistics. You can't even reply to let them know you aren't interested? Even a maybe is better than nothing. Or that guy you broke up with 3 weeks ago but didn't tell him, hoping he would just 'figure it out' - that's mean. Yes, it gets you out of an awkward conversation, but you are just running from ever having to deliver bad news. And you are being more mean by having people guess than telling them.
- Stop friend requesting people you don't even like. If you never talked to me in high school, nor tried to contact me the 10 years afterwards, don't friend me when I become famous or you bump into me in the street. Who cares about the numbers? If you don't actually want to catch up every now and then and the thought of having to talk to them on the phone makes you cringe, why, oh why, would you want to be their 'friend'?
- Smokers - you have ALL of outside. Why must you be near the door? There are people who are actually bothered by smoke. Wouldn't it just be easier to move 5 feet to the left?
- The whole point of earphones is so that the listener can listen without disturbing their surroundings. I don't want to hear your music on the bus/plane/train/sidewalk. Turn it down!
- Stop tailgating cars in the rain/snow/ice/sleet/everyday. It doesn't make sense. Go around. If you are that close and something happens you will collide. And riding me will not make me want to go any faster, especially when you have the option to go around.
- Text language is for texting, not for outside the phone. Write out the word 'you' and please use the correct form of their, there, or they're when talking to me. It is not "dorky" to speak grammatically correct.
- When a new person enters the conversation, open up the circle. Don't put your back to people. Don't use that opportunity to discuss all of your inside jokes.
I'm sure there are plenty of other things that we have backwards, but those were the main ones. And while it may seem silly to care if sum1 writes lik dis all the time bc dats how they txt, it speaks volumes about what they are going to consider acceptable. That person later becomes the head of a school or school district and doesn't enforce some of the English curriculum because it's just not that big a deal. Kids graduate from schools with a limited understanding of their first language. It affects how their resume looks. It affects the jobs and schools they will be able to attend. The details do matter.
It's really not about following a bunch of rules. It's about consideration. If someone teaches their kid to respect their elders, there is no way that kid would knock over grandpa to steal his wallet or phone. Something as simple as offering your chair to a pregnant lady or an elderly person shows consideration. It shows that you have a soft heart and you care about others. I see these high school kids out and about not doing that. And that worries me. I see the makings of self-absorbed nation, where nothing matters outside of their circle. That group will not make laws and will not fight for change that has nothing to do with them. Already we see the Democrats and Republicans fighting just because they are different parties, and not even caring to push differences aside and pass the laws that will benefit the nation. It only gets worse if we don't start reteaching these manners that most of us grew up with.
And while this started out as a rant, it's really an action plan. This is something tangible you and I can do. Because the activities that we see going on today - explicit racism, corruption, terrorism, violence, lying, political deadlock - they did not happen overnight. At the very least, we can try to leave this place better off than when we were here.
Teach Consideration. Be a role model. Make a Difference (in the long run).
Leave comments about social etiquette concerns or how to impact the generations to come.