Call me old fashioned but I still appreciate a “Thank-you” when I hold a door open for someone. What’s the right decorum when someone leaves you hanging? Do you stoop and respond with a sarcastic “YOU”RE WELCOME?” or do you just suck it up?
I wish I could say I suck it up. Usually I make matters worse for myself with the sarcasm option. This defeats the purpose of wanting to be polite in the first place… and it gets me all heated up and sweaty under the arm pits.
I’m a bit of a stickler for manners. I don’t like to butt in line. I acknowledge a waitress when she’s clearing the table. And if someone goes out of their way to hold the door open for me I say “thanks!”
Why. Why does it matter? Will the world crumble if we don’t say “please” or “thank-you” or “no, after you”? Or are we just supposed to use manners because Miss. Manners told us to?
I suppose it doesn’t really make a difference. I’m sure an impolite society won’t decline into World War III. For instance, France probably won’t go to war with the US just because they lump all Americans into one big pot of “Impolite.” And cave men got by without using manners considering their communication was limited to grunting (for the record: not polite). So cave men were brutish, and life turned out fine for them.
Mind you... there probably was a lot of hitting each other over the head with a club if we took more than our fair share of the animal carcass before our family members likewise had their bit- that's just survival of the fittest. So if you look at it that way, maybe manners serve a purpose beyond just social aesthetics.
If you examine history in times of drought and famine, I guarantee you can find examples our "four-mothers" putting food in our mouths before their own.
And maybe neighbours helped each other through hard times by taking a little less themselves.
We’re supposed to be civilized; I would argue it helps us make it through the day. I don’t want to walk around thinking the worst of people; I want to think the best.
And yes, common decency is important, but it’s also what sets us apart on the food chain. If a monkey can tip his hat at me when I put a coin in the organ-grinder’s collection box, then I say to Joe-blow holding his coffee and exiting the coffee shop while I hold the door open: Please, say “thank-you.”