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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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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.
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| Doing The Right Thing. ||Oct 14th. at 5:23:27 pm EDT|
|Peter (Stillwater, OK) ||Age: 48 - Email - Web|
This world has two faces Black and White, Good and Evil. Grey is the nice touch we added to fool ourselves, and mask our bad choices. Grey does not exist, every bad thing you do makes the next test harder to pass, enough failures and there are no more test, the end. Poor behavior, disrespect, and rudeness are small bits of Black and like a small amounts of poison that don't seem harmful, they add up with direr consequences. Understand this; life is serious, you can run out of chances, you can fail, and when you fail you will end. Doing the right thing sound cliché, but, it is the answer. Do good things where you can and harm none.
| I Am Void Of Common Courtesy ||Oct 14th. at 5:22:14 pm EDT|
|Danielle (Texas) ||Age: 21 - Email |
People tell me all the time that I'm rude, stuck up, and a major you-know-what. I don't let what they say bother me though. I *try* to be courteous, but I just can't sometimes. Most people aren't worth my time, and if they knew what I was, they probably wouldn't be courteous to me either. Since I follow a "traditional witch" path, I've been bashed for being biased in my believes and for being fundamental sometimes. One person even said that traditional witches don't even like themselves, that's why they don't like other pagan faiths. I have no problem with other pagan paths, it's just the people who try and sugar-coat them that I have the problem with. No one said that traditional witchcraft was a tolerant-let's-be-friends-and-share-secrets-faith.
| My Opinion ||Oct 14th. at 5:17:10 pm EDT|
|Thunder Mouse (Saint Joseph Missouri) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I cant realy say how pepole used to be, as I am only 21 (almost 22 ^_^) and have only realy ben experinceing the world for the last 4 years or so as an adult. I have run into ALOT of rude pepole especialy when I lived down south a few years ago. There was a customer I will never forget. I was working in the Lowes store in Sumter South Carolina. I was in the lawn and gaurden department. A customer had a problem with a gas heater he bought last year. He wanted me to turn it on and try to figure out what was wrong with it, but because I am not a repair person and because of the risk the thing could blow up, I was told not to do it and to tell him that we couldnt take it back because it was far past our return pollicy and he didnt have a recipt. I told him this and that I was verry sorry that I couldnt help him (truly, because it was rather cold this day) and asked him if there was anything ells I could do for him. He then proseded to use....creative language to describe me and my ansestery. I then told him again that I was sorry, and that I hope he has a nice day....he then went up to my manager and sead (and I quote) YOU NEED TO FIRE THAT BOY! My manager asked, Him? why? THe customer then screamed back, "HE TOLD ME TO HAVE A NICE DAY!" I wish events like this in retail werent so comon, but truth is, I run into inconsideret pepole nearly every day (well night now that I work nights at a grocery store here in missouri). I hate to say it, but rude pepole do seam to outnumber those who are polite. I suppose the best thing to do, is to just try to be the best person I can be. If anything just to make the person behind the counters life a little easyer.That, and when I have childeren of my own, rase them to understand that others other than myself have fealings. The way this world is today, I hope that more pepole try to be a little kinder to those they meet.
| You Never Know... ||Oct 14th. at 5:05:28 pm EDT|
|Katy (Los Angeles) ||Age: 22 - Email - Web|
Oh boy, do I have horror stories. I'm not afraid of specifics -- I work at a Payless. Cheap shoes for people who think our prices are exorbitant. :::shrug::: Well, if everyone is in a hurry, then they're obviously still going to have to wait in line for me to help them. And people do get rude, pushy, even occasionally abusive. And it's over the silliest things!
But who am I to judge? What happened to them before they walked into the store? Is the woman shaking her fist at me just a bitch, or is she just as overworked and underpaid as I am? Is her husband a jerk? Are her kids in trouble at school? Did her goldfish just die? I never know. It's really hard sometimes, but I try to be polite. And I try to *always* be polite, no matter where I am. Y'know, threefold law and all that jazz. If nothing else, it does give a *little* satisfaction to know that the jerk of a bus driver who closed the door just as I was running up to the bus will get his in due time. ^_~
Remember, the threefold law is a cosmic force, not an excuse for us to screw someone three times as badly as they screwed us.
| Yes And No ||Oct 14th. at 4:29:09 pm EDT|
|Stella (Pasadena, CA) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I think there are lots of rude people out there, but there are also a lot of very nice, very considerate people out there. In the past month I have had strangers help me push my car off to the side of the road and jump start it. I have had customers at my restaurant hug me because it was my birthday (by the way, happy birthday, Becka). I have had people hold doors for me, let me cut ahead of them in the grocery line because I only had two items, and a host of other nice things. I think we tend to focus on the times people are rude. It can be easy to dismiss all the times people are polite.
| Oh, Boy... ||Oct 14th. at 3:14:22 pm EDT|
|Becka (Here) ||Age: 22 - Email |
As someone who has worked in the service industry for the past three years, namely a self-serve, pay-first gas station, I have seen more rudeness than I could have ever imagined.
I look like I am about 17 (I'm 22 as of yesterday) and a lot of the people who came into the gas station were rude to me because of my age. They were polite as can be to the older attendants, but all I ever got was a gruff "here put this on pump 5" or whatever.
A lot of times I wouldn't even get that, people would just throw the money in the drawer and point in the direction of their car and then come back and curse at me because I got it wrong.
And the out of state people who had never heard of paying first were sometimes the worse, they would curse and yell and threaten all because they had to make two trips to the window.
I will admit that my first year and a half there I was just as rude back, but then I grew up and started to greet EVERYONE with a smile and hello even the ones who were yelling. Some people calmed down and smiled back, some didn't.
Unfortunately in this era of ME
nobody wants to take responsibility for their mistakes, they are always looking to pin the blame on others (especially service people).
Oh, I waited too long to return this sweater, its the store's fault for having such a short return period.
Oh, I didn't want peas with my meal (even though I didn't tell the waitstaff that), it's the
waitstaff's fault because s/he can't read my mind.
And the people who don't slow down enough to read signs are my biggest pet peeve. It could be posted in bright orange blinking letters that something is out of order, but there are people out there who will look right at the sign and ask to use that machine.
| Me Me Me And ME!!!! ||Oct 14th. at 2:42:48 pm EDT|
|SharlaMoon (Omaha, NB) ||Age: 31 - Email |
In a sef-center'd society... Why would there be manners or courtesy? THAT would be very inconvenient wouldn't it?
Sad but true and Pagans are worst than others... too much air and fire, too little earth. I sure thought this crowd would be different... An it harm none? Correct and for the good of all? YES I know these are Wicca phrases but even though I'm not wiccan they are the same as the golden rule. "do unto others... as you'd like them to do un to you" - The cop out I see (in the past few years) is... 'I am not wiccan so I don't HAVE to abide by 'harm none' - Well isn't THAT convenient. Ya ever notice that ANY code of ethics that THEY may have don't seem to manifest?
So what ARE the ugly words in this community? From what i've seen in the past ten years the list would include HONESTY, RESPONSIBILITY, INTEGRITY, SERVICE. Ya just don't see these words discussed much, they are just too inconvenient. - "Hey I've got a fantasy going on..." They sure do. What better way to shurk responsibility than to just fantisise or hide. that way you won't HAVE to be accountable. This is a great place to do that.
It's my nature to NOT buy this BS, and to be honest, the only reason that I hang out in this community (other than it calling to me spiritually) is for the few that DO give, ARE Nice, are NOT needy and DO offer themselves to the all. - They are my inspiration, I WANT to be like they are.
Thanks Witchvox. Thanks for being here.
| Coutesy Does NOT Disipate Power. ||Oct 14th. at 2:24:49 pm EDT|
|Sidney (Billings, Mt.) ||Age: 34 - Email |
The net brings out the worst (or should I say their REAL side) in people. So few use their real names, because they think they are so important that surely you must be out to get them. Spare me.
I don't think most of the 'magickal' names I see in this community are anything more that SCREEN names to hide behind. It's easy to be brave when you are cowering in the darkness. Color me taking this all with a large grain of salt. If you want ME to take you seriously USE your real name and do something REAL for anything/one other than yourself. I don't care what you *think* about an issue... I do care what you DO about it, how you treat others and what you have to show for yourself (other than your opinion).
Yes, I agree with the other posters, the Me generation has morphed into the ME ME ME generation. Screw them before they screw you seems to the mantra, and just look at where that has brought us.
I don't blame the Pagan community, it's the same rudeness at work at all through our society. The Pagan community is no better, and perhaps worst. We are much more apt to hide behind a screen name, then change when 'responsiblity' creeps in... then change it then change it.
I like real people, honest people and courteous people. If they believe in themselves they loose nothing by being nice and giving it away.
Rude people are boring and write their own karma every day. - You'd think they'd see that.
Thank YOU Witchvox for touching on this important issue and thank you for what you do.
| Just Because Others Are Rude, Doesn't Me You Have To Be Also ||Oct 14th. at 2:19:48 pm EDT|
|Michael C. (Maspeth, New York) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I think the saddest thing I see is when people are rude and try to justify it by saying that they were the victims of rude behavior so they are only passing it along. I try never to be rude, and apologize for my rudeness when I see it. Of course, no one is perfect. Still, I don't think being a victim of rude behavior can ever excuse poor behavior.
| It's A Choice ||Oct 14th. at 2:08:58 pm EDT|
|Stella C. (NYC) ||Age: 21 - Email |
To me it's as simple as that... It's a choice.
YES, it should be taught at an early age, but anyone with a brain should be able to figure it out easily enough.
I think the increase in rudeness is directly related to insecurity a belief that being courteous or nice somehow weakens the indivdual. I wonder if Witchvox is posting this question because THEY are getting tired of discourteous email and correspondences. If that is the case then GOOD for them.
It doesn't *kill* anyone to be kind or respectfull, but from what I see it really is all about ME ME ME with more and more of you. So given this WHY would we expect a self-absorbed society to care about manners or treating others nicely.
A sincere thank you or 'I appreciate that' will light people up. Try it, It's magick.
| Common Courtesy Seems To Be Becoming Extinct! ||Oct 14th. at 1:55:53 pm EDT|
|columbine (NY) ||Age: 37 - Email |
...Or maybe it just seems to be. I see more and more of the "me me me" attitude...and SO much more of the "let's blame someone other than myself" attitude. I taught in public school for more than 12 years..and remember one parent brining their child to kindergarten and exclaiming --- "Oh! I can't wait for my son to start school.. Now he will learn his manners!" Oy! I hold doors for others -- and rarely do I get a "thank you" --- and it is *I* who am typically struggling to open a door and push my toddler's stroller in...without so much as a finger lifted to help me.
Do you think it has something to do with the *way* children are raised? Parents (now I am going to generalize here -- and it's on purpose) who are so involved with their "own thing" that they neglect these areas or don't care?
Call me old-fashioned...but I like to think of it as demanding the respect I deserve...but I want doors held for me -- whether it be going in a building or getting in a car; I want my chair held for me in a restaurant. I like "please" and "thank you" and "oops! I'm so sorry" when someone bumps into me (I do the same!). The above reasons were ones that got me hooked on my now-husband!
*sigh* Oh for the "good old days"...
| Mother Always Said... ||Oct 14th. at 1:13:56 pm EDT|
|RuneWolf (Reston, VA) ||Age: 44 - Email |
It would be nice if common courtesy were a bit more common, but I have resigned myself to the fact that we live in a culture that creates angry, frightened, self-centered people, and it is unrealistic to expect such people to be pleasant. Even if they were motivated to be courteous, many Boomers simply don’t know how; they weren’t taught, as children, how to be polite, the way children of earlier generations were. And, too, like so many other soulful facets of life, courtesy and politeness are seen by many in our culture as signs of weakness. You can’t claw your way to the top by using too many “pleases” and “thank yous.”
My parents were far from being tyrants, but they were strict about a few things. One of them was always saying “yes sir” and “no sir,” “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am,” and that has stuck with me throughout my life. I use these honorifics habitually now, whether I am talking to the CEO or to the pizza delivery person. Many friends, co-workers, bosses, customers and so forth have remarked, over the years, how polite I am, and these simple pleasantries have helped me to successfully navigate situations that would otherwise have ended badly.
In reflecting on this issue, I also realized that I notice discourtesy more readily than I do courtesy. I think I simply expect the common “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me” and so forth, to then extent that I don’t even notice when people are using them. But when someone is rude, I definitely take note, and my hackles go up. In reality, I think courtesy still out-manifests rudeness by as much as 4 out of 5 times, maybe even as much as 9 out of 10. I’ll have to pay more attention for a few weeks, and see how it works out.
The “held-the-door-and-didn’t-get-a-thank-you” scenario is one of my pet peeves, but I have found that the best remedy for that is to say, loudly and cheerfully to the retreating back, “You’re welcome!” This often results in at least a twitch of the shoulders, if not “The Look.” When I encounter rudeness on the highway, I like to smile and wave as if we were old friends. If the other party even bothers to notice, this either perplexes them mightily, or really pisses them off. Either one is fine with me.
In the end, I believe the only way to combat rudeness is to be resolutely and persistently polite. Mother always told me that when other children were mean, I didn’t have to be mean back, and that I would be a better person for it. Like so many of Mom’s lessons, it took the better part of my life to come to understand it. And I believe Deity wants me to be the best person I can be, regardless of how others around me are acting. It is difficult, at times, to “rise above” the bad behavior of others: I want to get down and dirty and show them “who they are dealing with.” But in the end, when I take the “road less traveled,” I feel much better about who I am growing to be.
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