As the train neared my station stop yesterday, I gathered my things and started to make my way to exit. There was a young woman sitting directly across the aisle from me who was also getting up. We both got to the aisle at the same time and after a brief pause I said “it’s okay, you can go ahead.” The woman never looked up at or even acknowledged me. She just made her way to the rear of the train. As I followed her down the aisle to the exit door, she dropped her umbrella and her car keys. I bent down to help her and handed her the umbrella. Again, she never looked up at or said anything to me. She just took her umbrella and turned on her heel to leave. I wanted to call out after her and say “you’re welcome!” but I thought better of it.
I always shake my head in disbelief at how many adults don’t say “Please” and “Thank You.” I know that we all encounter it every day. “Gimme that.” “Move it.” “Yep.” When did we all become so rude? Weren’t we taught when we were kids that there were “magic words” and when used, they could make amazing things happen? Why do people stop saying these words?
Image credit: Little Minnow Designs
I am by no means an etiquette queen or the new Miss Manners, but I always encourage my kidlets to use these words when asking for or receiving something. My kids are not perfect. The Hubs and I have to occasionally remind them to say “Please” and “Thank You,” but on the whole, they’re really very good about using these words. They even smile when they do it, pleased that they remembered those “magic words!” We try to be consistent using those words through our own daily actions and behavior. Kids soak up everything that mom and dad do. We are their first and most influential role models, so what we do and how we act in front of them are important.
I guess that some people figure that if others are rude to them that gives them carte blanche to be rude to everyone else. It’s a vicious cycle and one that I don’t want myself or my kidlets to get caught up in, even though it would be easy to do so. I would think that we all, as human beings, just want to be respected and appreciated. So I will keep doing my best each day to be polite and use my manners. All it takes is one simple “Please” or “Thank You” to turn things around!
Now it’s your turn to share? What manners do you think it’s important to instill in your children?
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