What the hell happened to manners?

January 23, 2012 Blogs, Former Pioneer Staff Print Print
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Recently when picking up my elementary student, I came face-to-face with a driver of a Ford pickup.

There were cars parked curbside to my left and right and I had nowhere to go. I had no choice but to stop so that the other driver could pass. He pushed his way down the middle of the two-way street preventing opposing traffic. He continued talking on his cell phone completely oblivious to the rest of the world and never slowed down. Really?

There is, or at least there used to be, a common courtesy to let the car that arrives first takes the lead; however, more and more that’s not happening. Before you decide it must be a teenager, think again. This was a man easily in his mid 30s sporting facial hair.

I can’t count how many times I’ve watched caregivers pick up the children from school, then attempt to cross the street back to their vehicles but no one yields to let those folks cross. What if it were your parent or grandparent? You’d likely let them pass because you’re concerned about them.

On any given day I have seen the school bus driver push upon the vehicle in front of him

until he is rocking the bus because he is transferring from accelerator to the brakes so rapidly. No, it’s no joke. It’s downright frightening. We’ve had near collisions from this push-and-shove mentality of bus driver versus car driver.

Folks, let’s look around our community. In a social environment where everyone wants to be on the cutting edge of whatever is the hot trend, let’s start a new trend … courtesy. Yeah, I said it. That age-old, used-to-be-common, courtesy.

Go ahead and wait the 30 seconds to let that man or woman cross the street. What’s 30 seconds on your clock?

And, there are other ways to show courtesy, too.

How about a man holding the door open for a woman? Men, if you’re wondering, many women love it, so don’t hesitate to open the door next time. All of us can hold the door open for someone with arms full of books and the likes.

The public pushes through the aisles of the grocery store like bulldozers, grimacing all the way. Can we just take a few seconds and offer a friendly “after you” or “please, go ahead” or simply pause to let the other person pass.

Waiting on the elevator, the door opens and someone with a mobility issue is beside you. Rather than he or she being extended the courtesy of getting on first, others step on ahead. We can wait for the next elevator or simply take the stairs.

Would it really be that absurd to be nice? No, I think not. Extend a smile or casual greeting to someone you pass in the hallways.

We have plenty of opportunities to be confrontational or deal with rude behavior but if we take those few moments to offer kindness to a stranger, our day may take on a whole new look.

Take a few seconds to pause in your life to give grace to a stranger. There’s a lot of truth to the phrase that goes something like “you don’t know what someone else’s life is like until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed in this blog are the opinions of Yvonne Alex and do not reflect the opinions or views of any other Pioneer employees.

To contact Yvonne Alex, email  staffwriter4@occc.edu.

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