There are no hard and fast written rules for manners. We learn from our elders, parents, teachers, and friends. But, what about those idiots who wouldn’t know kindness if it came up and smacked them upside the head with a two-by-four? Were they raised on Mars?
Example one: I went to the post office today to mail three big packages. An elderly woman walked in behind me after parking in the handicapped spot. She waddled over to get an envelope from the wall and proceeded to fill it out at the side counter. By the time she finished, there were four people in line, so she waddled to the end of the line. I was next to be waited on, so I looked back and said, “Mam, you go ahead. You only have one item.” Her eyes lit up and she shuffled forward and thanked the others in line. That is just common courtesy and respect for our elders. I’m hoping to teach by example.
Example two: While I was driving home, I was in the right lane. I could have made a right turn on red, but NOOO! The car in the middle lane on my left, had inched up so close to the intersection, that I couldn’t see oncoming traffic. He couldn’t go, but he made it impossible for me to turn. I usually hang back when I’m in that situation.Then, don’t even get me started about those Pac-Man drivers that zig and zag in traffic, with less than a cars length, they cut in front of you and you are forced to slam on the brakes. Then, ten minutes later, they end up right next to you again. Manners dissuade you from displaying a particular digital acknowledgement.
Example three: I have found that most drivers in the state of Texas believe that turn signals, stop signs and red lights are totally optional. I once asked the mechanic at the car dealership if turn signals were removed before shipping new cars to the state of Texas. Then, there’s the four-way stop etiquette. The rule is…stop quickly for a mili-second, then step on the gas. It doesn’t matter that three other drivers were stopped before them. No common courtesy on the road.
Example four: But, on the other hand, when a woman walks toward a door, men will open the door for her, tip their hats, or help her lift a heavy bag when a woman is struggling in the Walmart parking lot with a twenty pound bag of dog food. Here in Texas, they say, “Yes mam and no sir.” The only thing I can’t figure out is why the huge discrepancy. Perhaps, there are different rules for manners on road than there are for kindness to the elderly and women. Oh yes, it seems that the older or the prettier the woman is, the kinder and more helpful the man is. That’s just universal.