You’re about to walk into a building and the girl in front of you just let’s the door go behind them and slam in your face; she didn’t even attempt to hold it open. She’s probably the same person who doesn’t thank the barista and has that slight condescending tone in her voice. Where did manners go? Did the words “thank you” and “please” get lost in the dictionary somewhere? I’m not just pointing the finger at our generation but to all generations. Our society has become so involved with ourselves, so caught up in our wants and needs, that we feel we have this right to treat others anyway we want.
Working at Panera means I come in contact with a lot of different people, and what shocks me the most is how rude people can be. Anyone in the food industry, retail, or any customer service industry knows what I’m talking about. There is no excuse for rudeness. Even if you’ve had a horrible day, you’re in a rush, or whatever other excuse you want to justify your actions with, it does not give you the right to be rude.
Being rude is a cop-out to not take the time to have a conversation with someone. It has to do with our society needing “instant gratification.” We want everything right now. We have everything at our fingertips with our iPhones, tablets, etc. that immediately give us the information we want when we ask for it; so when we have to communicate with an actual human being who can’t immediately give us the information or service we’re asking for we become impatient, cranky, and needy. News flash: you can’t always get what you want.
This “instant gratification” also is what leads to selfishness. Everyone seems to be obsessed with what he or she wants or needs to make their life better. This selfish attitude contributes to the false authority people think they have over one another, which then causes us to treat each other without respect. For some reason we forget that everyone wants the same basic things: to be happy, to be loved, to be successful. We think we’re the only ones that want these things so we treat others as if they’re obstacles in our way rather than actual people who operate the same way as us.
Manners go much further than just holding a door open or saying “please.” They let others know that you acknowledge them; that you see them and consider them an equal to you. In a society where it seems the majority of us deal with some sort of self-esteem issue (putting multiple selfies on social media for likes? That can’t be healthy), these small acts of kindness can really go a long way.
As you can tell, I dislike rude people. When you think about all those times someone was short with you, said something hurtful without cause, or just treated you like a second-class citizen, it hurt. We know it hurts when other people do it to us, so why do we make excuses when we’re rude to others? Why are we so involved in our own little worlds that we forget that we aren’t the only ones living in this world?
You are no better than the person next to you. You have no authority to be rude to others and treat them as you want. Everyone is someone. Each person has value and us treating each other with harsh comments or rude manners is stripping people of knowing this value. So next time you’re walking into a building take a second and look behind you and give that extra time to hold the door open, maybe you’ll even meet you’re soulmate.