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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,890,631  

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Question of the Week: 81 - 10/13/2002

ExCUSE Me! Has Common Courtesy Become A Thing of the Past?

Is it just me or are people crabbier, ruder and less courteous than once was the norm? Have you ever received an email without any sort of greeting or salutation, but which ‘demands’ that you must do such-and-such for him/her and right now as well? Or perhaps had a parking spot stolen? Been given the one-finger salute? Been behind the person in the ten-items only line who has at least twice that amount? (C’mon! I know that you count them, too!) Held the door open for someone who obviously thinks that it must be your job or something and so has no need to thank you for YOUR courteous gesture? Tell us your horror stories! What can we do to make the world just a little better mannered? For some background info, talking points and helpful suggestions, see: Courtesy by Chuck Gallozzi.

 Reponses:   There are 97 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Ahh..Proper Young Lady Training... Oct 15th. at 1:39:49 pm EDT

MoonOwl (Egypt Lake, Florida) Age: 39 - Email

I think "Old School" manners are becoming a thing of the past. I was raised to be a "Proper Young Lady" (didn't help:}) in the old school tradition. Think of the movie Titanic. I hated it at the time - especially the pinches under the table when dining out.

Thank You notes for gifts, handwritten Christmas Cards, etc., etc.. These things have become lost arts.

I have a daughter and I am passing on what I have been taught.

I was surprised after September 11th that people seemed to be ruder instead of nicer. I personally have tried to be even more polite since then.

I've often wondered why this is. My personal motto is "Life's too short to be anal". Yet, I see it all the time. Maybe these rude people's lives are terrible. Maybe all these people are so busy in their lives they don't take the time that good manners take. Thou it takes no time to say "Thank You" when someone holds the door for you. I would like to think when my daughter is old enough to ride the bus, train, etc., she would give her seat to an elderly person or a pregnant woman without hesitation because it is the right thing to do.

I'm trying to raise her to think of others before herself - not an easy concept for a 4-year old to grasp - and treat all people, animals & our planet with respect.

Since both my mom and grandmother have passed on, "Proper Young Lady" training is a legacy I'm trying to pass on (even if it kills me:}). It's one way I can keep their memories alive for my daughter.

I do like the bumper-sticker I've seen.."Rude People Suck". Yes, they do.

Now, I am not perfect...Just listen to me rant about King Jerry or other small-minded individuals with no tolerance for other opinions. Especially when those opinions end up getting people killed. But everyday I try to do one "random act of kindness". Just because it's the right thing to do and I think this world needs more positive karma flowing. Because for me too, good manners are a way of me paying tribute to the matriarchs of my family that have given me soo much in this life to be thankful for. I'm also trying to make up for calling the driver that just cut me off an blooming idiot!!

I do have a cute tale..This morning my daughter had a play-date today with one of her preschool friends. Her mom is a serious Christian (I made sure my house was lived-in spotless after last's weeks article about the 91 cats - since she was headed to a "Daughter's of Christ" meeting afterwards!!). After about an hour we got to talking about getting ready for Christmas and she politely asked me if I celebrate Christmas. I guess my Goddess, Budda & Totem on my mantle clued her into the fact that I'm not a Christian. I can hear her now...I had no idea that woman was a pagan! But, she's so nice! But, boy her house was clean and her kid is very smart and polite and she's got more toys than mine does" (Yes, I do indulge my kid) My point being she was curious and asked politely. The question of the day is: Will she be back? I hope so. Even if it's just to get more info for her group: Outside of having very long hair, she looks like any other mom.. I would have never guessed by looking at her!:} I had to share that. It cracked me up. I don't judge her and hopefully she doesn't judge me. She seems very nice. We could even end up friends.

Manners Count! It's what separates us from rude people.

Y'all are lucky...a thunderstorm is coming and I must shut-down..

There's my 25 cents worth!

In Love, Light & Tolerance!

Manners, Manners, Manners Oct 15th. at 3:50:42 pm EDT

Erin (Wixom, MI) Age: 23 - Email

Bright blessings!

I guess that I must make my opinion clear on this....manners are all but lost in today's society.

I hope to offend no one in this posting, however, I would like to share my own experiance.

I must, with tremendous disdain and embarrassment say that my generation and the parents that raised us has a lot to do with this lack of manners. I'm 23, and a lot of the people I grew up with had this "I don't care" attitude. They still do. Their parents were (and are still) rude and seem to not care, or not even notice the child. My own parents (when present) shoved me out of the room between puffs of smoke and told me to go play with my friends. Never a mention of manners or good will. It was my grandfather and grandmother (thank the goddess) who showed my manners. My parents, if you haven't already guessed, are from the 60's and early 70's.....yes, they're hippies...

Also, I must admit that I never had MUCH of a consideration for other people and their opinions (feelings I always did respect) until Sept 11, and that incident sort of woke me up and showed me that there isn't enough time in the world or in life for you to touch someone in a negative would be much more karmically and heart fulfilling to touch a stranger in a positive way.

Maybe none of this makes any sense to any one else but me....I guess what I'm trying to say is that a lot of us need to wake up and see the bad side of things to understand the need for good...
And if you're a parent AND a hippie - at least pay attention to your kids....

Love, light, and serenity,


New Word For Polite Oct 15th. at 3:52:08 pm EDT

Terry (Utah) Age: 36 - Email

I may be wrong, but it seems to me that when people are expected to be polite, the term that is now used is "Politically Correct." And Politically Correct is seen as a BAD thing! I don't think it is a bad thing consider whether or not what you are going to say or do is going to be offensive or hurt somebody's feelings! Just my opinion. Blessed be all!

Definitely Oct 15th. at 5:15:32 pm EDT

Brahadair (Charlottetown, PE) Age: 20 - Email

Working in the customer service industry, I completely agree with this. No one shows respect anymore. You thank people, you welcome them, you are courteous and friendly, and they blow you off like you are some peon.

I don't think people have time to be friendly or polite anymore. I just wish that people would realize that a little smile or 'thank you' goes a long way.

Modern Common Courtesy Oct 15th. at 5:20:50 pm EDT

Megan (Cliffwood Beach, NJ) Age: 18 - Email

Hi All!

I'm, I guess, what you can call a modern common courtesy practicer. I still hold doors for people with loads of bags, childern or just cause I happen to be there. I say thank you, your welcome and please, always say "have a nice day" or "You Too" after a person says have a good day or something like that. I have a habit not saying excuse me after I burp because I'm always laughing but I do say it bump into someone or anything that requires a "excuse me". I usually let people in lineahead of me with just one thing or seem impaient. Now, I'm not an Old fashion kinda person but it just semes right to do it. But a lot of my friends don't do what I do. They'll just storm off or ignore it. I find it rude when people don't say thank you or please. I used to work in a grocery store and not a soul would say thank you when I said to them 'Have a Nice Day'. It got on my nerves but it's not like I could anything about it. The only thing I know what to do about it is just do what they don't do. Heck, it just might make someone's day or make someone feel better. I think that if someone still does it, it just might rub off and more might do it. I usually slap my friends on the arm of back if they don't say thank you or please and they do it. But I'm avacating hitting people just sorta encourging them. Give them a little push toward niceness. Normally it doesn't bother me when people are rude or don't do certain things. I just take it as that person is ill-educated and doesn't mind if I do it back. You get more bees with honey then you do with vinger. So, ya know what I say, do it even if you don't it back that much.

My Thoughts And Venting Oct 15th. at 6:16:46 pm EDT

Angela (Clarksville, TN) Age: 29 - Email

As a mother of five children. I find that courteous is lacking in our society. To being cut off on the road by a speed demon or someone who turn's to quickly at a turn off without using their turning signal--shopping areas of people to tired and busy with their own lives to apologize or take notice when they run into you with a cart or are standing there in the middle of the isle, talking to a friend that they saw yesterday--but it feels like two years since they last saw each other.
The shopping center is an issue with me. I go in there for items and what I get is people almost running over my children who are little and in a stroller and not once do they apologize that they almost ran them over because they needed to look at something while walking (and it wasn't where they were going either). Or that fact that the last time my husband wore a certain Rob Zombie T-shirt, we were stalked by an older man trying to persuade my husband to "find Jesus" and wouldn't take us asking him nicely and using the word please to leave us alone. And to sum it all up! When it's just me and the five children and having a hard time pushing the cart and pulling a stroller. Does anyone come over and offer help? Oh no, just comments of how brave of a woman I am and how they couldn't do what I do. Or just comment that if I can't handle all my kids than I shouldn't be in the store with them. So, going to the store takes a lot of mediation! However, of a mother of five, courtesy is demanded of my children. I stress it to them daily and reminded of it every time we are out of the house and in public. If I see them not being courteous and instead, being rude, I ground them instantly and tell them to think about their actions and than apologize. I agree with everything that Chuck Gallozzi said in his list of teaching manners to our children, all though I do teach my children to stand up for themselves when not respected..I have also taught them to do so with respect for themselves and the person being unkind. I wish other parents did the same. Maybe courtesy would come back. And the school violence would stop.

I'ld Like To Add To My Previous Post.... Oct 15th. at 6:44:23 pm EDT

Allegra (Michigan) Age: 15 - Email

This one really got me thinking about how I treat others. I got up did all the dishes, sweeped the floor and various other house hold chores. But thats not enough. If there are going to be so many rude inconsiderate people out there, then I will just have to work harder at being curteous. I'm the kind of person who holds doors for others, say please and thank you, will give you my spot in line if your in a hurry, ect. But maybe I'm just scratching the surface. Maybe I should work harder, I think we should all work harder. We can't just stand by and think we are being curteous and polite, it should be a habit yes, but we should make a point of it.

..... Oct 15th. at 7:59:30 pm EDT

Melinda (PA) Age: 49 - Email

Manners are basically the respect of others. So far it seems we have talked about what those responding see as the basics; thank you, holding doors etc. Yet the basic act of acknowledging another persons existence appears to be the root. How many times you walk by someone and smile and they turn their head. You wave someone to go ahead at the stop sign and they rush on without a wave back. You wait and wait at the corner to cross while cars stream by (though in our modern society this is less and less as our towns disappear and there is nothing to walk to). We learned respect and manners from all types of people, in our communities where they saw us everyday. These days so many people and families now are rushing from one thing to the next, where is the community. Many of us talk about saying thank you and please outside of our homes. How often do we say it inside our homes, our circles? How often do we acknowledge what others are contributing? Most of the examples given have been with strangers yet how can we expect it from strangers if we do not always give it to those we are closest to.

Makes Me Feel Like Being Rude Oct 15th. at 8:00:57 pm EDT

Megan (Richmond, B.C) Age: 19 - Email

I completely agree that common courtesy is lacking in our society. I take the bus to and from work everyday and sometimes I am just astounded at the absolute lack of manners people display! Not only is there the budging and pushing to get on the bus, but quite often when an elderly person, disabled person or woman with children get on the bus, able-bodied people who are sitting in the "courtesy seats" won't budge to give them a seat! Almost every time the bus driver or another passenger will have to ask them to move and then they do so grudgingly. I like to offer my seat to people who look like they need it more than I do, but how often do I get a "thank you" in return? Hardly ever! I was brought up to be polite, courtious, to say my "please" and "thank you"s, but in this day and age when people are just so darn rude, it makes me think of the old saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em". It seems that everytime I leave my house I am assualted by rudeness and it really does weaken my politeness resolve and quite frankly turns me into one of those scowling passers-by. It almost makes one ask, "What's the point in holding doors and letting people ahead of you in line? It's not like they appreciate it!". Of course, not everyone is rude. But because the polite ones are so few and far between, when we come across one it is a breath of fresh air and then we can't help but react with surprise! It's really a shame.

Kill Them With Kindness Oct 16th. at 12:22:53 am EDT

Sprite (St. Ignatius, MT) Age: 27 - Email

Courtesy is alive as long as we choose to be courteous. For all those sour pusses out there, grit your teeth, give them a smile, and remind them to have a nice day. Who knows? You just might be the one who gets through to them. And then wouldn't the world be a nicer place?

Light and laughter,

Raised To Be Courtious Oct 16th. at 6:26:01 am EDT

thad (hot springs AR) Age: 20 - Email

Well With all of the Complaints on how everyone sees courtisey in America I'm almost afraid to post anything good but I've traveled around the united states and realized that a large part of the entire issue is where you live I currently live in a small town and find that courtisey is alive and well you can start a conversation with a perfect stranger and them not think that your a complete nut or ignore you and walk away. But i've also lived in such places as Tacoma Washington and Denver Colerado where if you look at a person walking down the street they regard you with scorn and start calling the local nut house claiming that there's a crazy person on the street so i find that it's all depending on where you live and the values of the area. Simply put small towns are more likely to have courtisey than large ones plus from what i've seen the southern small towns seem to be raised differen't not to say in any way that the north small towns arn't the same way but i have little experience with small towns up where it gets cold during winter just be nice and if they don't want to speak to you just go on with life


Common Courtesy Oct 16th. at 10:19:53 am EDT

Ashe Winterwolf (Irving, TX) Age: 38 - Email

I agree with the poster who said that where you are in the country makes a difference as far as common courtesy. I live in a large city and I find that traveling on the highway and city streets is where I see the least about of courtesy. Things aren't much better walking around a mall as I've seen, even, small children knocked down by adults who offer no apology and act as if the little ones were merely an annoyance.
However, sadly enough it is in the pagan the community that I've seen the most horrendous displays of a lack of courtesy. On one occasion a few years ago, I opened my own home for use as a place for one of our coven meetings and did not get so much as a thank you from my own HPS. Due to other incidences of a lack of courtesy I'm no longer a member of that coven.
I've seen people show up late to public rituals and think nothing of interupting the ritual as they take their place. I've seen rituals, both public and private, that where supposed to start at a give time, start 45 minutes to an hour late. All of this acceptable under the lame excuse of Pagan Standard Time. How can we get the mainstream public to take us seriously when we can't even get a ritual started on time. I've also seen people who were expected and needed at an event, not show up without so much as a phone call explaining why s/he wasn't going to be there. It's really sad.
Like other people, I was raised to be as courtesy as I possibly can at all times and in all places. I have gotten to the point where I have to wonder if some pagans feel that courtesy is, somehow, against our religion.

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