Monday, November 13, 2006

Question of the Day . . .

Are manners dead? Here’s why I am asking this question – for the past few weeks on the way to work, normally at the same spot, there is an older man taking his morning walk. He waves at all the passing cars. I wave back. I did not wave back at first. I have noticed that not many people wave back, which brings me to the pivotal question: are manners dead? A secondary question: would it kill somebody to wave back? Is it asking too much?

Obviously, since very few people are waving at the man, it must take a strenuous effort that might well kill a person. I mean, what other reason could people have for not waving at somebody . . . other than rudeness?

I think the crux of the matter is that we live in a mannerless society. We (a glaring generalization that any English teacher would surely frown upon) live in a fast-paced society that does not allow time for social niceties. Bull-you-know-what!!! The fact is, a good majority of people are just rude. They just cannot be bothered with smiling at someone, saying thank you, opening a door for somebody, or waving at the man on his morning walk.

Society, for the most part, is on a downward spiral. Or is it? Is there hope for redemption? Is there hope for 100% of people waving at the man on his morning walk?

How often have you (generalization, be damned) bumped into someone and not said . . . excuse me or sorry? How many times have you not held the door for the person behind you? How many times have you not smiled at someone who smiled at you? Once? Twice? Twenty times? A hundred times? How much effort does a simple act of kindness, of manners, cost a person? Does it take a minute off of your life? Is the price so high that rudeness is the easy way out? Or, is it pure laziness on the part of humanity? Will we become no better than the Neanderthals of the past, fighting for survival, with no time for a complimentary grunt toward our neighboring cave dweller?

So, next time somebody waves at you, I dare you to try something different, something outrageous – wave back!