What is going on in the world? Am I one of a dying breed of adults whose parents taught them good manners? I was raised by parents who taught to say please, thank you, and excuse me. I was raised to use a napkin when I eat at a table, to hold the door for others, to give up my seat on the bus to the elderly, women who are pregnant or with small kids, and people with assistive devices. I was raised to greet people with a smile, a hello, a handshake, or all of the above, depending on the situation.

Last week, standing on the bus on my way to work, a blind woman with a seeing-eye dog got on the bus and no one gave their seat up until the bus driver yelled at someone.

On Saturday we went out for lunch at one of those “casual dining” type chain restaurants. A mid-20s-ish guy was sitting a few tables over from us with his girlfriend on the patio. Mostly they were quiet and clearly enjoying themselves. At the end of their meal, he downed the end of his beer and burped, loudly. Who DOES THAT?

Today I got an email from someone with no greeting, no sign off, no NAME signed on the bottom.

Standing at the bus stop this morning, a woman was verbally abusing her (clearly very new) assistant, yelling and swearing at him in front of the 20+ people at the stop. He looked so uncomfortable, embarrassed and beaten down.

No, my manenrs aren’t perfect either. No, I’m not Emily Post or Miss Manners or anyone else “expert” on these things. Yes, I am already old and crotchety at the age of twenty-two. But, seriously, people – it’s not about “following the rules” or anything like that – it’s about being a decent, non-asshole-ish member of society who respects the people sharing their space and demonstrates that through their behaviour.


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