It’s been a shitty week in NY. Oh I’m sorry, it’s a shittier week in NY this week.
Rain, humidity crawling in, vacations coming up which have the reverse effect the week or so leading up to them…You know, the start of a horribly horrible summer where you have to take into account what your tops will look like dotted with sweat and NY stank. I call it: Perspire Pollock.
Enter today, with the backing above, and I walk into the cool haven of my buildings lobby. I am not the person that watches from the elevator someone come through the door thinking how could I possibly wait 6 seconds for that stranger (or coworker) to arrive at Point Elevator. I will wait, that’s taking 6 seconds away from my desk time therefore I’m grateful. I’m also not into the mindset of thinking I’m way more important than people I work with, whether intimately or not. So I held the door.
Her response? “Oh my gosh, that’s so nice of you.”
Is it? My having slight manners that used to be expected is now extremely nice? 20 years ago it was etiquette. 2012? I’m Mother Theresa.
It had me thinking on the quick ride up to my floor, what happened in the short time of a few decades that had simple manners, really putting nobody out unless you were an egomaniac (and then we see this and know to avoid you like the plague), on the pedestal of “very nice”?
I remember coming here, my first year, implemented with what my mom and dad drilled into us in terms of manners, elders, and place. I also remember vividly the wild eye looks I received when holding open a door, saying thank you, helping a woman up the stairs with a stroller, etc- And they weren’t necessarily…happy? It looked more frightened, like a battered pup that will still bite the hand of someone there to help. It doesn’t know any better.
But it should.
We’re losing a common respect with society around us. I don’t hear parents telling their children “no” anymore. I don’t see kids moving for the elderly or saying thank you. I don’t see adults doing that either. And it makes me sad.
Some say I’m old fashioned, but I’m 25. I’m not old fashioned, I’m well bred. I’m well taught. I’m well mannered. I don’t care that you’re a stranger, I’m still making a first impression and you are, too. And when I see these adults behaving like this? It makes no sense. I can’t believe that the bulk of mature adults I come into contact with here weren’t raised with strong parental guidance- I know when they are from, and I’m not buying it. They chose to not think outside of themselves, maybe not on purpose, but it doesn’t change the result. And I know they have an idea of how they should be treated.
What is my point here? Let’s Bring Manners Back.
You can justify putting old fashioned mindsets on the back burner, but manners aren’t old fashioned- period. They are ways to keep society moving with the brain space to realize you aren’t alone, and that just because you don’t know somebody doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the respect you would want.
I’m not saying NY is alone in this, it’s completely not. But it’s the best example because where else could one persons actions keep a train of hundreds stalled and late for work? One person, one self centered idiot who just HAS to squeeze into a dangerously packed train gives no thought to hundreds of patrons surrounding him or her. That’s crazy to me.
Is it crazy to you?
If it is pleeeeeeease set forth small moments of etiquette and maybe manners can be like smiles, contagious?
If there is an old fashioned something you’d like to see again, a moment like this you’d like to share, or a sense of etiquette you can justify being long gone- you know where to hit me up!
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Thank you. (see what I did there? Manners.)