This is definitely a rant – so be prepared and grab your popcorn or whatever vice you need to make it through – but bear with me.
I have, over the years had many, many people stay with me. Visitors from all corners of the world. Some for brief stays some for extended stays. I have run a bed and breakfast and always accommodated and hosted in a very open and giving manner. So I have experience at being a gracious and giving host.
When people stay with me, I always find it interesting to note their behavior – and here is what I has recently been brought to the forefront for me. People of the older generations (IE born PRE-1985 or so) have something totally fundamental that 99% of those born after that date lack.
Allow me to elaborate.
When I was raised by a very hard working mother and my step father, Manners were ingrained into me. They taught me such things as to clean up after myself, to always be polite and respect my elders, and they certainly taught me how to behave when I was at someone elses’ house – even briefly. The fundamentals of that behavioral expectation were these: Offer to help, Say Please, say Thank you, insist on helping, clean up after yourself and be polite always – basically – be on your BEST behavior.
I have observed this same behavior in the older generation I mentioned above almost without fail whenever they have visited my home. And anyone of my friends who has visited my home in recent years have frequently offered assistance with whatever it is that I am working on. (Please don’t get me wrong there is a part of that 1% of the younger generation who do have some of those same manners and qualities whom I know).
But a recent visitor to my home exemplifies the other 99% of the younger generation. Granted, this person was not specifically visiting me, but one of my pups, however, the rules should still apply. Apparently, the rules were never taught to this individual.
First and foremost, a simple greeting, you know – “Hello, nice to meet you/see you again” and an attempt at conversation – was absent. And I don’t care how “socially awkward” you are – that is a simple fundamental thing. Get settled, and make yourself at home, I am pretty laid back, but to be pretty much ignored and in the space of a week not even being acknowledged some days – leaves me with a hugely bitter taste in my mouth.
If I am cooking you dinner and you are a guest – OFFER TO HELP. If I am washing dishes after a meal I cooked for you – OFFER TO HELP. If I am catering to your needs – say please say thank you and above all OFFER TO HELP.
YOU are a guest in MY home. Treat me, and my home with RESPECT.
MY invitees, my friends wouldn’t DREAM of not offering – even if they know that time and time again I will decline the help. The offer is always there. Repeatedly. This particular visitor did no such thing. I may as well have been a robot to which no respect was owed. And, at the end of a week long stay, when you are all packed up and ready to leave, say “Thank you for having me” or some such thing – hell, I spent most of my week tip-toeing around you and your needs and entertainment. That is the VERY least you could do. That isn’t law, it isn’t a requirement, but it IS MANNERS.
And now that the personal experience part of this rant is over, let’s expand the field here. When last did you hold the door open for someone else to walk through it? I can tell you – for me – it was yesterday. Probably 7 or 8 times. Or asking if while you are up, if there is anything anyone needs? This is daily for me. Or being polite and friendly to the person behind the counter or register at a store? Saying a kind word to the person who helps load your purchases in your vehicle. And saying THANK YOU to those people in service positions.
It is truly alarming how infrequent these BASIC FUNDAMENTAL MANNERS are completely and utterly ignored, or not even KNOWN to the VAST majority of the populace. Is this where we are headed? An entitled, rude, obnoxious and self-absorbed world where any form or manners and decorum are completely obliterated?
Oh shit. We’re already there.