Skip navigation

Tag Archives: manners

I’m a person who prides herself on good manners.  Primarily, this consists of making everyone else comfortable;  I introduce my friends to the new people at the party, chew with my mouth closed, drive courteously (most of the time), and speak with my “inside voice,” among many other little things.  But with all this, there is an ulterior motive:  In return I am usually treated more courteously, and that’s how I like it.

When I see another person acting rude or agitated because of what someone else does, I am reminded of how lucky I am to have the ability to see the innocence behind others’ actions.  Blame is humanity’s instant go-to excuse.  It’s not my fault I spent too much money on my credit card, it’s that big company’s fault for charging me late fees and interest. I didn’t do anything wrong, she’s just a bitch. I see the answer to most of these agitations to be actually giving a crap about the person on the other side.

We can’t get very far in life without caring about other people.  Sure you can be a jerk and hateful all the time – everyone’s out to get you, that waitress is an idiot, that driver cut you off on purpose, your friend didn’t return your call because he’s a jerk, that girl doesn’t like you because she’s a stuck up bitch, the people at the Charter help line are idiots, etc. etc. etc… but how hard is it to imagine that college-age waitress on her feet all day, getting $4 per table + $3 per hour + dealing with your impatient, rude, high-expectations ass?  How hard is it to imagine that foreigner on the other end of the phone helping you hook up your cable modem is an actual person, with feelings, and a mortgage, and a family?  What about the guy at the drive-through window?  I can’t imagine how hard it is for that guy to be nice to every person that comes through.  Believe me, I’ve gotten some pretty messed up drive-through orders, but I’m not suddenly expecting every single order I get to be wrong.  And if it is?  So what??  It’s one lunch out of the 10,922 lunches I’ve eaten in my entire life (thanks WolframAlpha).  I think I’ll live if this $5 fast food isn’t up to par.  Also, sending a polite, well-worded complaint goes further than you think (or would farther be more appropriate here?  I couldn’t decide).

More importantly, how often is the person you have a problem with someone you care about, our cared about at one time?  Taking five seconds to think about what you say before you say it can mean the difference between a minor tiff and a permanent rift.  Think about who you are talking to before you say what’s on your mind in the heat of the moment.  I’ve seen so many friends lost, significant others gone forever, family members separated…all over WORDS.  How hard is it to bite your tongue?  Why is it important that you make that person feel bad?

Okay, I have rambled enough.  The main point here is that acting like a jerk serves no purpose other than to make you feel bigger, better, stronger, smarter, whatever…and it’s wrong and mean.  Also, having high-expectations is going to leave you disappointed 95% of the time.  I know I’m all talk, and I’m definitely not exempt from being blindly hateful, but please take some of this to heart and examine your own actions.  Making another person feel bad serves absolutely no purpose, and ultimately it does nothing but make you look like a jerk.

No blog of mine would be complete without a list.  So here’s a list of vocabulary words I think the majority of Americans need to think long and hard about:

  • integrity
  • honor
  • valor
  • chivalry
  • humility
  • modesty
  • kindness
  • fairness
  • politeness

Just imagine what these attributes would bring to your life, and what would you have to change to accomplish such changes?

Thanks to Jason Simon for his ever-so-helpful input and punctuation correction!