World Peace Begins with Good Manners

I’ve been flabbergasted by recent media stories which illustrate the poor behavior of many. What happened to treating each other with respect? Has no one taught their children manners since the 1970s? I thought the holiday season was supposed to be all about brotherly love. I’m beginning to think that’s a lot of rot!

Here are some examples of people demonstrating complete absence of manners/cordiality:

Sadly, there are many more examples of shoppers gone wild, which reminds me of a quote attributed to Mark Twain: “Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn’t any. But this wrongs the jackass.”

Honestly, there is no frelling product out there that is worth this hullabaloo, and how can it be worth one’s time and loss of dignity to save a few dollars at a sale? There is no better time of year to ask, “What would Jesus do?” If you can’t make that inquiry, then consider, “What makes sense and will do no harm?”

I wish I could say that ill manners were seasonal. The sad truth is socially appropriate behavior seems to be going the way of the Siberian tiger. Soon, I expect good conduct will be extinct. It seems so simple to me to express and demonstrate courtesy. Why is it so difficult for others? For example, why did one woman yell ‘boring’ during a symphony performance (one in which her daughter participated as a musician)? I hate to think of the complicated relationship they must have, but overlooking that, why would anyone behave in such a way?

I really do think we could improve the world if we considered others over ourselves momentarily each day. If everyone made a conscious effort to be considerate to others, particularly to those individuals we don’t know, for 30 minutes a day, wouldn’t things actually be easier for all of us?

Here are some ways to begin our march toward world peace:

  • Let someone slide in front of you in a flow of traffic (Watch as this courtesy pays forward. I’ve done this little experiment many times.)
  • Open a door for someone or let someone enter an elevator before you.
  • If someone is a few cents short at a cash register, give them some change to pay their bill.
  • When someone says, “Thank you,” reply with “You’re welcome.” Don’t say, “No problem.” I don’t know when this entered our lexicon, but I’m making an effort to make it go away. Being courteous shouldn’t be considered an inconvenience!
  • If you see someone struggling with shopping bags, loads of fertilizer, whatever bundle that would be better handled by a pachyderm, stop and ask if they need assistance.
  • Be kind to those who wait on you – restaurant staff, store clerks, etc. Smile. Thank them for their service.
  • Think of something nice to say to everyone. Remember what Thumper’s mother told him, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Good luck! If you think of something you’d like to add to this list, please leave a comment. We’ll all have to work at this together!