A Dying Breed

Why does generosity shock people? Have we all become so desensitized and rudeness and thoughtlessness is now the norm? People are overwhelmingly selfish. If something is not going to benefit them in some way then they will not put forth any effort. What happened to chivalry, manners, and selflessness?

My husband and I try to raise our kids with good manners. We try to teach them to think of others rather than themselves. Do they always do this, no, but for the most part they are well-behaved and caring children. I remember going to our first parent-teacher conference at pre-school and we were told that Logan had “adult-size manners.” Oh the pride that set in. Just an overwhelming great feeling…”Yes! We’re doing something right.”

Children learn from their surroundings. They not only learn from us, their parents, but they also learn from society. I’ve noticed more and more lately that people are missing this component. It saddens me that people are shocked when you hold the door open for them, or let them pass in front of you in traffic. Literally it takes all of three seconds for such a small gesture. Are those three seconds really going to matter? What really aggrevates me is when they don’t say thank you or give you an acknowledging nod. It’s just plain rude.

I was in Kohl’s this past weekend and the woman in front of me insisted on checking EVERYTHING in the bed-in-a-bag she was about to purchase. Great. I’m in line behind her with three little boys, the youngest just on the brink of an over-tired temper tantrum over a stuffed dolphin. All I could think of was, “Oh great, one of these people.” But then she shocked me. She glanced over at me, apologized, and insisted the cashier ring me out first. There I was shocked by generosity and thoughtfulness. I’m usually the one receiving the shocked look. We all thanked her and told her to have a wonderful day.

So there are some people still out there. Some people who were raised right. Some people who can put others before themselves. Set good examples…the kids are watching you. Take the time to hold the door, help someone pick up something they dropped, or even just tell them to have a great day. Little gestures that can mean so much to someone. Little gestures that can shock someone and make them think twice about how they treat others.