Synyster Graves

Manners cost you nothing but get you everywhere

by on Feb.14, 2011, under The World According to Ette

Manners and consideration seem to be dead in today’s society and that close to criminal. The sad thing about it is that they cost so little yet get you so far, for those not in the know The Bear and The Ette were recently blessed with a beautiful baby boy – The Cub™ and since his arrival (and before) I’ve become more and more aware of the state of society and I have to tell you it’s not pretty.

When I was young I was taught to respect those that were older than me, now this is not always a given, not everyone deserves respect but there should be a level of respect for those who have lived and experienced more than yourself. I was taught to open doors; offer my seat to old ladies on the bus and to help women struggling with buggies. This kind of chivalrous behaviour may not be dead but it’s certainly not dancing in the streets.

It doesn't help that most people can't actually read signs...

I worked until quite close to the arrival of The Cub™ and caught the train at rush hour and even at 8 months pregnant (and the size of a house) I was only offered a seat on the crowded train once. I talked to my mother about this recently and she was shocked as when she was pregnant with me (some twenty-something years ago) it was common practice that people gave up their seats for the elderly/pregnant.  People don’t seem to open doors anymore either, it takes seconds but people don’t seem do it. The way people speak on the phone is absolutely appalling these days. From working in a call centre here are a few things to remember.

  1. The person on the other end of the phone is rarely responsible for what’s happened
  2. The person on the other end of the phone is generally trying to help you
  3. The person on the other end of the phone is less likely to go out of their way to help you if you’re abusing them
  4. The person on the other end of the phone has probably taken a lot of abuse today already, they’re more likely to go that extra mile to help you if you’re nice to them

Generally the maxim “treat others as you’d like to be treated” would make the world a much better place if everyone lived by it. There was a lovely story about David Beckham pulling over to help someone push their broken down car during the school run this week. Whilst Beckham has been heralded a hero for this and I don’t diminish what he’s done, I find it sad that so many people carried on driving before he pulled over to help. It all has to start somewhere, and it’s time to remember this when you’re next on a crowded bus, after all what if it was your Nan?

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