Thursday 11 June 2009


"Whoops", stated the lady that bumped in to me at the supermarket. I believe that might have been some form of apology. Still, based on my own experiences, 'whoops' is better than no recognition at all. Maybe it's my imagination, my perception, that makes me think that quite a few people these days are too busy, or just can't be bothered, to display common courtesy and manners to others.
I was reading a letter the other day that went on about how this chap was most dismayed at the indifferent attitude of a lot of folks out in public. He said that he tired of opening doors for people and not being thanked for his politeness. His response to this indifference? Well, this fellow decided that he was no longer going to hold doors open for people. He was going to be "just like the rest".
I have to disagree with his line of reasoning. For to become, "just like the rest", only compounds what I consider to be a growing inconsiderate society. I will do my utmost to continue to be polite and courteous. It saddens me to think manners might be construed as some kind of weakness. It saddens me to think what sort of message, lack of manners, sends to our children.
Why are so many people angry? Why are so many people in a hurry, too busy to spare a second to acknowledge the kindness and consideration that has been bestowed upon them? Why do they walk in front of me in the supermarket as I'm about to grab the jar of organic peanut butter? Why is it so difficult to say 'excuse me'?
Not too long ago, I was walking along the pavement in a busy section of town. A group of older, 'wiser', folks were blocking the pathway, much to the inconvenience of other pedestrians. The topic of conversation? How rude and inconsiderate the youth of today were. I thought to myself: 'What a fine example these older, 'wiser' folks set for our youngsters. The hypocrisy, the double standards, beggared belief. Perhaps one day, based on their observations, the youth of today, who I think, in many cases, get unfair treatment, will become like them. Then, they too, can be in too much of a hurry to take the time to say 'excuse me'. Maybe they might just think that 'whoops' is good enough. I hope not.


  1. I think you are right. You have to stand up for your own principles when it comes to manners, or anything else for that matter.

    Generally, I do find that it is returned by like minded people.

    However, there is a section of society that does think manners, or simply being 'nice' is akin to being soft.

    How wrong they are and yes, how tempting it is to give up sometimes.

    But no. Courtesy is like a breakwater. Lose it and the world would be flooded with rudeness and worse.

    I think of basic manners as being that first bulwark against barbarianism.

    It could be described as the first layer of that thin skin that we call civilisation.

    We need to nurture it for our survival.

    Thoughtful post. Thank you.

    See, I have manners too LOL

  2. Greetings John,
    Thank you very much for dropping by and leaving a most excellent response. It is much appreciated.
    I have to agree with you that, in general, like minded people reciprocate good manners.
    Most folks, when they have the time for a bit of light hearted chat, are usually pleasant back to me. So not all is lost. I just wonder what happens to some people when they enter a supermarket and become this rather rude, inconsiderate person. Don't get me started on the 'reduced section' area. Take very good care and thanks again. Please excuse me, I must go now:-)

  3. Hi Gary,
    I feel that I can only speak of the area and community in which I live. My neighbor and I travel the shops together. Rudeness has been a big issue with the great-grandparents’ age group (68-79 years) and the young teenage group (12-16 years). All I can do is keep smiling and stay as kind and patient as possible; anything less and I become a part of their ‘mystery anger’ at the world. Saddens me to think that we may be moving ‘global’ toward a culture-less society, a religion-less society, a political-less society… must we also be manner-less?
    To me, having and using good manners, shows self-respect moving outwardly toward others. In my ‘life plan’ good manners are a ‘keeper’; a habit early cultivated; a habit that exclaims more than ‘whoops’ when I run over them with my trolley! (Sorry, so sorry).
    A very nice post indeed! Good wishes to you. Dixie

  4. I agree with you both. If we don't nuture good manners and courtesy we don't have a lot left. I can't stand bad manners - I think there's no need for it.

    I think some of it is a generational thing - the kids are just copying what their parents do - and so the behaviour goes on. But I also agree that not all young people are the bad mannered, destructive, law breaking ignoramuses the media would have us believe. As always the few that let the side down see that all young people are tarred with the same brush.

    Some of the elder, so called 'wiser' members of society are just as bad, if not worse than the youngsters! They demand respect yet do nothing to deserve that respect themselves.

    I think we should treat others as we would expect to be treated ourselves. I fear one of the main problems with some of the young people who are so angry is they feel no respect for themselves, and that is the real crux of the matter.

    Best whishes. Julie xx

  5. Another well-written blog there, Gary, love from another door-opener and smiler at people :) xx

  6. most things i was about to say ,have been covered.but ,there are certain sections of youths[young men]who seem to think that respect is reserved for a select my enviroment ,i have stopped speaking to people,it seems they would rather talk about you ,than take the time to get to know anyone.Ido keep trying to be myself,and i hope the people who do know me,believe i am considerate,and give in to these ways,would be to betray myself.someone has to keep these values alive, its the easy option ,to blame others,or verbally abuse them.i will not become what i am not .as usual ,gary,a timely ,and well put blog,something which touches us all.Dave.s

  7. Ah, Gary, I know just what you mean about others' inconsiderate thoughts and actions. I can understand how those affected by rude behavior want to offer the same to others...perhaps, that's how this thoughtlessness is spreading throughout our society.

    Unfortunately, they don't realize that 'two wrongs don't make a right'...

    When I was young, being polite and kind was taught to each child as a 'golden rule'. I guess, society doesn't have time for such things anymore...

    Great post, as always...

    'Til next time,

  8. Dear Dixie,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to contribute to this blog.
    You are so right that to keep smiling, promoting good manners and common courtesy towards others is most assuredly the best policy.
    With this potentially global situation, it takes all of us who maintain respect and kindness to continue to lead by example.
    Thanks Dixie..whoops...must go now:-)

  9. Dear Julie,
    Thank you for your most interesting response to this topic.
    It is sad commentary that the younger people are learning by example. Those parents who cannot bother to display manners and perhaps think they are above being polite and considerate; give a very negative signal to the youngsters.
    I have observed young people just minding there own business and not trying to bother anyone. Yet I have seen older, 'wiser' folks make derogatory comments towards them. Passing judgement on the kids, how narrow minded and bitter is that?
    Thanks again Julie. I wish you the very best with all your writing exploits. Kind wishes, Gary

  10. Dear jewel,
    Thank you for leaving your very nice comment.
    Just like you, I shall continue to open doors and smile. It is always a good feeling when someone responds with a 'thank you'.
    Please take very good care of yourself. Warm wishes, Gary

  11. Dear David S.,
    Thanks David for adding your notable contribution to this discussion. I greatly value your input.
    Those that would talk about you, rather than to you, are masking their own insecurities. They see you as an easy target. I would ascertain, that for some bizarre reason, they take comfort in attempting to devalue your humanity.
    I know you are a man of manners and integrity. Nobody can ever stop you from being the decent person you are.
    Stay strong my friend. Peaceful wishes, Gary.

  12. Dear Mattie,
    Always a pleasure to receive a comment from your good self. So thank you very much.
    I can also understand how people who have had their politeness and courtesy to others be ignored; could get most disillusioned. However, like you say: 'two wrongs don't make a right'.
    Those of us who have the time for manners, must maintain our respectful attitude towards others. We would not want to see this rudeness become an acceptable norm.
    Thank you very much, Mattie. It is kind, decent folks like you that makes me realise that all is not lost. Please keep smiling. Peaceful, respectful wishes, Gary.

  13. Hi Gary,

    Great post! We cannot control the actions of others but we can make the world just a little bit better by showing kindness whenever we can.

    It is easy to get wrapped up in the idea that our good deeds should be acknowledged but if we remember that we do these things first for ourselves, the inconsiderate actions of others will have little impact to us.


  14. Greetings Roger,
    Thanks for your excellent contribution to my post topic.
    Roger, I completely agree with what you have stated. I endeavour to be polite and considerate of others. I realise that I cannot change how other folks act. That is why, like you, I hope to make the world that little bit better by being kind.
    Generally speaking, when people I see who are not rushing about; I usually have a most pleasant and positive conversation. It's just those who are rushing about, with no thought of the world around them; that causes me to feel somewhat dismayed. Each to his own.
    Hopefully, the potential impact of poor manners, will not get the better of people who are kind and decent.
    Thanks again Roger. Peace my friend. Kind, respectful wishes, Gary.


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.