AN UNCOMMON COURTESY

29 03 2013

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Where have all the manners gone? Whatever happened to etiquette? Why is disrespect so readily accepted in our society today? What makes so many human beings act like every aspect of this life was made to revolve around them? I am the center of the universe is their motto! And they behave with a belief system that shouts “If you should just happen be bothered by my behavior then get used to it because it must be your problem! I am not changing for nobody but me!”

The other night I took my daughter to a concert. The artist on stage presented her music to us in a very simplified unplugged fashion. There was no rocking band backing her up. There was no blinding light show. There were no exploding pyrotechnic displays. There was just a girl and her guitar and her amazing voice singing before a packed out auditorium. I loved hearing the purity and sincerity of a voice that hasn’t been enhanced and messed with electrically via all the technology available to performers today! I enjoyed her friendly banter she attempted to have with her audience trying to set up the atmosphere that we were all in her family room at home. What I didn’t appreciate was hearing the loudmouth joker sitting behind me who took not one but several cell phone calls in the middle of two of the beautiful ballads- totally ruining the magic of the moment for all in our area. Others would wait for a silent moment right before a new melody would begin just so they could scream incessantly with no other goal but to hear the annoying pitch of their own tonsils! Another couldn’t control the intake of his own alcohol consumption thus becoming a belligerent jack-ass looking to pick a fight to the soundtrack of the singer on the stage singing songs of peace and love!

What our world needs now is love and a whole lot more of it in a hurry! Love means putting the best of others before your own personal needs. Love is willing to sacrifice what you want until later so that somebody else gets your best behavior now! It means taking into consideration the feelings of others before you act impulsively! It looks to not draw attention to you but to reflect the rays of polite mindfulness so that others can enjoy the spotlight! It means not having your cell phone ringer on full blast in the middle of a church service. It means not kicking the seat of the person sitting in front of you at the theater. It means not using abusive language when you are at a ballgame and there is a family with children sitting in your neighborhood! It means dealing with your crying baby outside in the hallway and not staying in your seat when there are those on a stage trying to perform and do what they do the very best they can! It means not looking to cut somebody off so that you can be first! It means treating people with respect as if they really did matter and were so much more than the inconvenient nuances that have somehow only gotten in your way as you hectically run your race to fulfilling your own agenda!

Open a door for somebody! Say “Please” and “Thank You.” Help a neighbor in need. Pick up a blown over garbage can before you pummel it with your car as you race on by! Why wait for somebody else to do what you know you can do? Wash your own dish! Turn your own clothes from inside out to the right side before chucking them into the laundry hamper. Make your own bed. Clean your own table. Carry somebody else’s load! He ain’t heavy- he is your brother! Speak with kindness! Don’t demand or talk down to somebody! Work with them and not against them! Look up to your elders. Obey your parents. Tip waiters and waitresses well. Help those in authority get what needs to be done accomplished. Parents don’t exasperate your children. Don’t use one another! Stop all the lies. Tell the truth with grace. Go out of your way so that God’s will can be done God’s way on earth as it is in heaven!

I hear lots of talk about tolerance these days but see less of it than I ever have before. People criticize what they do not know and attempt to summarize intelligently what they have never taken the proper time to become educated about. Just listen to the way people talk about God. How can someone speak about The Bible if they have never even taken the time to read it? How can we say we know what we have never even taken the time to properly grow? How can somebody judge what they willingly choose to stay ignorant about? Study to show yourself a well-rounded and grown up adult who has properly invested his brain power and his heart into that which matters forever!

I know that selfishness reigns supreme in the souls of most of our culture today. We have just focused on the wrong number one to be looking out for! “It’s all about me, me, and me!” is the usual mantra! There are too many “my” in our vocabulary! It is my house, my car, my money, my rights, my way and my family. Whatever happened to “us” and “we?” There isn’t enough “Yes Ma’am, “Yes Sir,” “Thank You Mom,” Please Dad” or “Let me get that for you.” The neighborhood should be a community of looking out for one another no matter what. Maybe it is time to make common courtesy more prevalent again! Today is the day to reintroduce the golden rule to a whole new generation. It all starts with turning our “I’s” upon something greater than our own reflection!


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5 responses

29 03 2013
Ruth Cooper

You make a good point, Rudy. There are too many people who think that the world owes them a ‘living’. However, I do believe that most people strive to be polite and giving.

29 03 2013
Alison Heller

I have a daily goal to compliment at least one person each day! And ALWAYS use my manners.

29 03 2013
Peggi

Good word; I want to share it…

29 03 2013
Michael Sands

Rudy, exactly! I have been saying this for years. At the corner store I hear “Ill have, or gimme a this or give me that”. Whatever happened to Hello or Hi! I would like a large coffee and bagle please. thanks have a good day! A bunch of pompous self centered zombies.

30 03 2013
Greg Carter

Every day I see more and more of us numb to all the values you mention. Yes. The scales have tipped from “what am I going to give to what am I going to get. ”

The voice of the “Greatest Generation” is disappearing. In turn, so are the common courtesies. Less than 1% of the population has served in the military at any given time during the past decade. Compare that to almost 10% during the WW1 and WWII years. So the generation gap in values has widened.

My eyes well up when I hear someone say “thank you for your service”. It should make me feel good. Instead, it catches me off guard and reminds me of where we are today and makes me sad.

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