It seems to me that we as a society have been on a slow decent into a kind of reckless, unchecked behaviour of madness over the last couple of decades.
Why do I say such a thing? Listen to any news broadcast, read a paper, or simply watch how people behave toward one another and you will see what I mean. People don’t seem to know how to behave with manners.
Manners are defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “ways of behaving toward people, especially ways that are socially correct and show respect for their comfort and their feelings.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines manners as “social conduct or rules of conduct as shown in the prevalent customs.”
Take a few recent examples of not only bad manners, but bad behaviours.
Will Smith takes exception to a joke made by Chris Rock, at the expense of Smith’s wife, during the recent Oscar Awards. Smith jumps up, marches onstage and slaps Rock in the face, with a stunned audience looking on. Then Smith makes it worse by shouting obscenities at Rock.
Last weekend a mother did not like a call at her daughter’s softball game, so she punched the umpire in the face leaving her with a blackened eye.
Filming on a movie set had to be halted due to “inappropriate behaviour” from the film’s star Bill Murray.
Airline crews have been assaulted in record numbers by passengers, either objecting to mask mandates or by having too much to drink, causing planes be diverted for unscheduled landings.
At the grocery store, I witnessed a young man verbally assaulting a quite elderly man, because he was slow moving and a bit confused. The young man was cussing at the man and yelling “hurry up, old man,” and no one in line was saying anything.
I did. I walked up to the young man who I guess to be 17 or so, and quietly said “is this the way you want people to treat you when you are his age? At which point he told me to “F-Off.”
I ignored him, and I walked up to help the older man, and I helped him all the way to his car, just to be sure he was alright.
He was thankful, and went about his way, but that kind of occurrence happens too many times now.
People, especially in the past two years, have seemed to adapt a keyboard warrior mentality of saying anything they want, ignoring what used to be considered just having good manners and civil manners.
When I worked for an airline, I had many occasions where people would ignore the safety briefing, which is up to you, but in the event of a crash, you can’t say you were not told how to get off the plane. I digress.
On one of my flights a man would not turn off his phone and kept receiving calls during my briefing. I asked him politely three times to turn off his phone.
He kept saying “I did, but it keeps ringing.” It was to the point the others on board were becoming upset. So I simply walked back to him, asked to see his phone, and once he handed it to me, I took the battery off the back, handed it back to him and simply said, “if it rings now, it is God calling and you may answer that call!” Every person aboard clapped.
I wish it were that simple now. Be a good person, have patience. Say a nice word or nothing at all, and keep your hands to yourself.