A Dying Art

Its seems lately that politeness, common decency and civility are now a thing of the past, a long forgotten memory of how things used to be.

Did people stop teaching these simple traits or do they just not have the time any more?

I seem to be a minority, a member of a dying race. A member of a once prolific and now dwindling group referred to as the eternally polite.

When did the niceties pass away. I don't really recall, although I'm sorry they did. And there I go again, apologising. Its just the way I was brought up I suppose.

I expect a please, a thank you, a simple excuse me and more often than not I'm disappointed when they aren't forthcoming.

Perhaps its as simple as reminding the masses. Perhaps we can once again repopulate the earth with the eternally polite.

After all, such a simple thing as a smile or a thank you is completely free. There really isn't any reason at all to begrudge someone the offer of a kind word when it costs you nothing more than the mere seconds it takes to say them.

I'm not necessarily saying that we should agree with everything for fear of upsetting someone, by all means voice your opinion, but bear in mind that when arguing a point the second you call into question the other person's beliefs or opinions, religious or political, their ability to or methods of raising their own children, the way they look, dress or speak you have lost the argument. To lower yourself to that level is to fail.

Would it really take a second of your time to acknowledge the fact that you had bumped or jostled someone in the street rather than glare at them as though it was their fault because you're perfectly entitled to be there with 17 shopping bags slung across one arm and a mobile phone grasped in the other.

Rather than stand there tapping you foot and tutting behind the elderly person ahead of you in the queue who may perhaps be having trouble gathering their purchases together and may for all you care be getting more flustered by the second because of the impatience of the incredibly busy and obviously very important person tapping away like old typewriter behind them, why not offer to help. Go on, give it a go. Trust me we're talking about a win win situation here.

And if, after reading this, you find that you still can't manage to take the time and squeak out that little, completely free, takes merely a second thank you, you could also refer to the Crash Training Course laid out below.


Assume that the barrista, that you've just snapped at to hurry up because you're running late as it is when you know fine rightly that you could have skipped the coffee altogether and went straight to your meeting without being late, will use the day old milk that's been left on the counter all night in your skinny latte.

Assume that the waitress, you've just balled out in the middle of the restaurant for putting onions in your salad even though you know fine rightly that the 6ft 2in chef that someone like you would cross the road to avoid on a dark night put them there, will dress your salad for you, if you get me.

report on how little Billy got on today in class due to the fact that budget cuts means they now have to wrangle 38 kids, none of which know how to use the bathroom or tie their own shoes unsupervised, might right your kid off, because if Billy wasn't asked to contribute to anything today then those full and Assume that the teacher that you've complained about six times this year alone to the principle because they can't spare 20 minutes at the end of every single day to give you a full and in depthin depth reports you crave daily become a much shorter message to pass on.

To sum up, being impolite, short with people and just generally ignorant will always backfire on you.

And if you still can't find it in your heart to be nice, even just to try and be nice then try this;



  1. Know what you mean!

    I apologise when someone else bumps into ME! -WHY do I do that???

  2. Oh - it sounds like you've had a few run ins. My experience is that people are generally extremely polite, kind and generous - perhaps it's to do with where I live and the pace of living is that little bit slower. The thing that used to get my goat a weeny bit are the young shop assistants in trendy designer shops that give you scathing looks ... I'd be straight out of there and not buy a thing!

  3. I completely agree Leanne, I get dishearted though with each use of thankyou in a shop or a bye I just get a blank stare! I live in Shanklin and it seems that the majority of holiday makers leave there manners at home Grrr..
    I've taught my daughter good manners but I occasionaly question did I teach her manners or to appear like a bit of a mug! X

  4. I agree; politeness is a thing of the past. It's too bad that it has come to that.

    We're doing our best to teach our daughter (and eventually our son) manners, and it seems to be working. In fact, many people (servers, for example) remark at how polite she is.

  5. I get frustrated every day at the lack of politeness! I'm the sort of person who apologises for someone else bumping into me. Must say however, since moving out of London, people, even teenagers, say thank you to the bus driver!


Your comments make me smile. I love that you stopped by.