Wha’ ‘appen? N’ah no Manners?*

*Wha’ ‘appen?  N’ah no Manners? = What’s up…don’t you have any manners?We know that civility and politeness, where politics are concerned, seem to have gone the way of the Dodo Bird; it seems like decent behaviour is extinct.  I think I’ve seen more evidence of this since the 2008 Presidential elections than ever before — or at least that’s when it seems some people lost their damn minds at the very thought of ‘that one’ taking over the White House.  So, what about plain ol’ manners in every day circumstances?  Is it too much for people to be civil with one another?  Now, even as I ask this I admit that when it comes to politics, there are plenty of times I wish President Obama would escort politeness out the door and turn into a one-man gangsta beat-down squad…but that’s another story…

Doors held open, offering a seat to the sick/physically challenged/elderly/just plain tired on subways, and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ seem to be too much to ask or hope for these days.  How about simply being able to sit in a restaurant without having someone screaming in a cell phone and refuse to tone it down even when asked nicely by other patrons?  And I won’t even get into civil discussion online; has anyone looked at the posts, regardless of the topic, on Yahoo threads?   Lawdhamercy!  It’s a no-credit course in all things ignorant and stoopid, and a full-credit course that should be titled ‘Bigoted Commentary 101‘.

And what about folks who think it’s just fine to offer up unsolicited commentary?  Example:  In a lingerie store a couple of days ago I was speaking to a sales associate who explained what merchandise I could purchase with a limited gift card I received from that retailer.  I picked up a bra and hip-huggers only to have some woman on line disengage the filter that should have been on her mouth by stating that ‘hip-huggers are nasty and slutty’ and that ‘no decent woman would wear them’.  Huh?

*My thought came with a thick Jamaican accent:  “Look’a here, moose woman…Who de rass asked you? *

My question is when and why did things devolve to the point that not having manners and being mean and borderline belligerent become the new ‘normal’?  Do folks have to be ‘put in their place’ in order to realise that being nasty toward others usually will get a nasty response in return?  Confession:  I wasn’t working on some high spiritual plane that day so I gave that woman a snarky response that I felt was meant to put an ill-mannered wilderbeast in her place.  If I had been operating as a better version of myself I may have simply smiled at her and told her that I hope her day gets better…OK, yeah, right — I’m human, damnit and I sometimes feel like an unprovoked attack deserves a verbal beat down.  Sue me.

That stated, I’m curious about what people are doing in this age of dark clouds and a national mood of misery to feel better.  Drinking and taking drugs are not an option here (and I have a whole lot of thoughts on the subject of constantly popping pills to feel better about any and everything that goes wrong — but that’s another topic for another post).  What’s on your mind and what do you do?  Scream when you think nobody is within earshot?  Talk smack to your spouse/significant other/friends/pets?  Take a stroll down to City Hall and hold up signs stating that you’re mad as hell?  Soak in a tub and beg Calgon bubbles to take you away to any place but here?   Share!

Peace.


Comments

  1. 18c197f4-696c-11e0-999f-000bcdcb2996 says

    Manners are learned and since I have been in America I few experience with children executing manners. New York I see getting more and more isolating especially with the advent of those Iphones and Droids more and more people are just closing themselves off of the experience socialization. Manners will and may become a myth. I hope not I like people too much. I hope I'm wrong.

  2. Good manners or the absence of same, are not a consequence of an election cycle or people becoming distracted by advanced technologies but are simply a reflection of how people are reared and the values instilled within them.

    Whether it be good manners, common sense, or basic decency; failures and successes are not too difficult to explain or understand. Much like families (fractured, fused and traditional), friends and love, all of life’s critical elements and nuances may be traced to some very core beliefs and values. Treating people well, being selfless, and mindful of the emotions of others will always elevate how we respond top others and how they in turn respond to us.

  3. The Brooklyn Dame says

    You're absolutely correct; manners are learned. Since there seems to be a diminishing supply of manners, what that says to me is too many people don't see a need for them any more. I like people, too — I just have little patience for rude people who have a sense of entitlement and no discretion. For all of our sakes, I hope parents teach their children that manners are important and should never go out of style.

  4. The Brooklyn Dame says

    To Ry: I am not suggesting at all that good manners are a consequence of an election cycle — I simply pointed out that in my observations, manners seem to be diminishing moreso since that election (that so many consider fateful). It's not the election itself that has anything to do with bad behaviour but the results of that election that seem, in some circles, to be bringing that bad behaviour to the forefront. Some people can no longer fake their funk.

    Treating people well and being mindful of others will elevate how we respond to people but it does not necessarily mean that they will respond with good manners towards us. Try going to a supermarket or a subway booth someday; for some people it doesn't matter how much civility they're met with — they'll still find a way to be as nasty as humanly possible. Saying that others will "always" elevate their responses towards us is negating the fact that nobody can control anyone's behaviour but their own. "Always" is way too strong an absolute when talking about human behaviour.

  5. We agree.

    I wrote that managing our own response in a positive way will always elevate outcomes. That is exactly what we can control,our own response, always.

  6. Anonymous says

    Well, I wish I could say that I would have been able to take the Spiritual High Road myself when it came to such an encounter as the one you experienced in the lingerie store. (Frankly, it depends on the day and the hormone levels!)

    It certainly sounded more like a case of jealousy rearing it's ugly head than true moral outrage at the choice in YOUR undergarments. She's lucky you didn't call it for what it was and tell her to shut her cake hole to boot!

    As for manners, they are still alive and well, a lot of folks just choose not to use or cultivate them. I am constantly shocked by how many people do not think it is an important part of child rearing, teaching proper manners that is. Being polite is not a sign of weakness. Nor should it be construed as being too politically correct. Manners, politeness, and good etiquette are hallmarks of civility–for opinionated heifers and the rest of us. (Oops, did I type that out loud?!)
    -Mia

  7. Anonymous says

    "We know that civility and politeness, where politics are concerned, seem to have gone the way of the Dodo Bird; it seems like decent behaviour is extinct. "

    I think it is. Look at the election with Obama, look at peoples behavior after he became elected. I mean can we just be decent and humane. Speaking of decent and humane, none of which the TeaParty crowd is, they should be in the dictionary under the word indecent behavior. They are just another name for the KKK.

    Simone

  8. Anonymous says

    "Treating people well, being selfless, and mindful of the emotions of others will always elevate how we respond top others and how they in turn respond to us. "

    Most are not this way.

    Simone

  9. Anonymous says

    "I wrote that managing our own response in a positive way will always elevate outcomes. That is exactly what we can control,our own response, always."

    Not always, sometimes you just want to smack the shit outta someone, people can be pushed because of others behaviors especially if the behavior is ongoing.

    Simone.