“You have beautiful handwriting.” That’s the sentence that started a random but wonderful conversation about how old-fashioned niceties are rare. Bruce from Wisconsin has been married for 30 years and was in town with his two 20-something sons to watch the Braves. He had glanced over at my notebook while I was writing some notes a few times. I didn’t think anything of it because a lot of people take notice of someone furiously scribbling at the bar while eating a sandwich.
His wife is a teacher, like my parents. His observations about the decline of common courtesy and etiquette in modern society mimicked my thoughts exactly! Not sure what it says about me that at 31 – my thoughts match those of a 56 year old man.
He said he had to compliment me on my cursive writing since he knew so few people that were capable of writing cursive that looked any better than chicken scratch (okay maybe those are my words, but his sentiment). He said it was an absolute miracle if most kids could even sign their names correctly. We both agreed it was a horrible tragedy that people can’t even write a proper letter or thank you note. (By the way, thank you notes – always in cursive!)
Of course, that conversation led to us a discussion on a litany of other polite manners that have gone away. I don’t know about everyone else in the world but I was taught long ago that you respect your elders. The lack of manners shown towards people who have been on the Earth longer than others is shocking. Seeing an old man or woman standing when teenagers are sitting down hunched over their phones is infuriating. People too often don’t lend a helping hand to others in public, not wanting to be inconvenienced. And doors…oh the lack of people holding doors open for others. Is it really so hard to open the door for someone else? Or if you are really so self-absorbed that you can’t handle not walking through first then at least holding it open until the other person can get to the door? It just isn’t that difficult people.
Then the topic turned towards chivalry which is a whole other post honestly. I get a little passionate on that topic. But all in all it was refreshing to hear someone else voice their concerns about the state of society and the lack of manners. We both agreed that it all stems from a basic lack of respect to others and ourselves. Just be nice to others and respect yourself enough to care about how you present yourself to the world.