Monday, March 7, 2011

Some Thoughts on Basic Etiquette and Human Decency

In light of some recent rather eye-opening events, I have decided to compile some basic guidelines for modern-day adults who wish to venture forth into the public arena. 

Are you a loud person?  Are you prone to being easily led by peer pressure?  Do you have trouble with too much alcohol?  Are you secretly an immature, selfish and ebullient buffoon?

If you answered YES to any of these questions or any questions of a similar nature, that's OK.  You are who you are and God still loves you.  That said, now that you have recognized these facets to your personality, you are entirely responsible for making sure that you keep them in check.  Especially in public.  Just because you have flaws (and really, who doesn't) does not give you carte blanche to force your less-than-appealing self on innocent bystanders.

Always remember, what may be acceptable at Wrestlemania may not be acceptable at church.  If you are at a charitable event, remember that the purpose of the event is to raise money for a good cause.  It is NOT to humiliate the organizers when you don't win the top bid on a silent auction item.

Yes, you are an adult now.  You are setting an example to the next generation.  Now is not to forget the lessons you were taught as a child regarding basic manners. 

Please chew with your mouth closed.  Use your inside voice when you are inside.  Do not interrupt a conversation in progress with an unrelated piece of information (unless it is an emergency) or at least have the grace to say "Excuse me" before jumping in.  Yield to pedestrians.  Conversely, pedestrians, use the cross-walk.  Don't pick your nose.  And so on.

You know this one, right?  I'm always amazed at how people that treat others like crap on a routine basis are outraged when they are treated in a similar fashion.  Self-awareness must really take a holiday sometimes.  By the way, this rule applies to all people you encounter, not just the ones you know on a first-name basis.  People like your waitperson, barista, bank teller, carwash attendant or dentist count too.

I could probably come up with some more guidelines, but most people seem to have trouble remembering too many things at once, so I'll leave it like this. 

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