He made so many of them, after all.
It’s just astounding to me that we all don’t choke the life out of each other on a daily basis. You would think after thousands of years of civilization that certain ground rules of behavior would be so ingrained by now that it would be second nature. But then you go out into the real world and you discover that most of the population has not progressed all that far from our knuckle dragging ancestors.
Case in point. I try to hold doors for people. I think it’s only common courtesy to at least nod to me when I do this or, heaven forefend, say thank you. On a recent weekend when we were out and about I had the chance to hold the door about 50 times. In and out of stores, restaurants, gas stations etc etc.
Of those 50 times I got a nod or a word of thanks about 25 times. The rest of the humans I helped out acted like I wasn’t there. And doesn’t that make you feel great?
Another example. Bumping into someone.
First of all if you pay the minimum amount of attention it’s very tough to not see another human. We are pretty much the biggest moving animal around at any given moment and most of us can recognize our trajectory well enough to prevent collisions. But hey, inadvertent contact does occur. And when it does I always am quick to offer a “pardon me” or “excuse me”. I don’t often get it back. Most times I am greeted with a glare that would melt ice, even if the moron walked into me!
My long suffering wife is most often the victim of this type of collision, primarily I suspect because she is petite. I will often see her staggering to keep her footing after some linebacker sized cretin slams her almost into a sprawl on the floor. Now we make a joke of it. I will say to her in loud voice, “you’re in the way again”, but the linebacker has usually moved down field and pays no never mind.
Most of this behavior I believe goes back to early childhood. Yes, I blame elementary school teachers for the lack of manners in today’s society. But deeper than that it’s the abolition of corporal punishment in school. When I was a kid if you weren’t polite you got your knuckles rapped with a ruler by the teacher who was often the size of the Goodyear blimp. Nowadays if a teacher talks to a kid in stern voice the ACLU is salivating to bring the deal to court.
Bring back the days of putting rude kids in the coat closet and we will all have better manners.