Most people relocate from their family home at some point in their life, but they don’t bring everything with them. They leave something nice behind, something we all held dear as children even though we were reminded to keep them with us at all times. You may have even sung or watched programs about them. Do you remember? They are called manners.
Big cities have high density populations so people put on blinders to create personal space. Many have become glued to their cell phones for communication and entertainment. Highways have become parking lots. Many don’t use blinkers or stop at intersections. It can be stressful and frustrating.
I Googled “manners.” WikiHow listed the expected tips for basic etiquette.
There is one that really gets my blood roiling. Hold the door for others behind you. The experts suggest swinging it wide, addressing the person behind you as ma’am or sir and letting them go in before you. Yeah, right. That is over the top and rarely happens out here in Colorado.
I have a simple suggestion for 2014.
Pay it forward by looking backward.
It’s so simple. C’mon! Unless you’re deaf, you heard my clipping, clopping or shuffling of feet. Instead of letting the heavy door swing shut on my face, hold the door until I can take it from you. See how simple that was? No one is going to say, “Let it swing shut. I got it.” No one. This goes for any man or woman. No sexism here, just good manners. Men should catch the door for other men, men for women, women for men, women for other women. Do you get it yet?
The person will thank you. I would have thanked you. After my surgery, I couldn’t open heavy doors. I would have to tap on it to get someone’s attention. You wouldn’t believe the looks I got like, What’s your problem?
While in Wisconsin, Land of Happy People, Cheese and Good Manners, I stopped by the grocery store. I had about 40 items in a big cart. As I approached the only checkout lane, a blonde-haired lady with a small basket approached from the opposite side of the store. In Colorado, it would have been a race. This lady turned to me and said, “Excuse me,” then made her move and emptied her few things on the conveyor belt. I emptied my cart behind her. Then I heard her say, “Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me.” I finally looked up. She said, “Thank you so much for letting me go first.”
It was such a shock. I said, “Oh! But of course.” She paid it forward by looking backward.
Manners aren’t dead yet, at least not in Wisconsin.
After returning from the LHPCGM, I drove to my local King Soopers grocery store to stock up. The checker looked me in the eyes, smiled, and introduced herself. “I’m Jackie. I’ll be checking out your order tonight.”
Then the bagger said, “I’m Laura. I’ll be bagging your groceries tonight.”
My mind raced. What is the proper response to this new routine? Do I introduce myself? Hi! I’m Susie and those are my groceries you will be checking out and bagging tonight. After a long pause I settled on, “Nice to meet you.” Although it didn’t incite a big conversation about the price of beans or the huge remodel surrounding us, it was nice. Just like good manners.
Remember to pay it forward by looking backward.
Do you think we could start a trend?