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Politeness

FortKnox (169099) writes | more than 10 years ago

Real Time Strategy (Games) 40

You know what is truely sad? When I go out all day, return back, and my (18 month old) son is more polite than everyone else I've been with throughout the day.

We've taught him to say please (more like "PEAS"!), thank you ("cank ew"), and welcome ("gelcum")[1]. He almost says "excuse me" when he belches, but it sounds more like "beep beep" which I guess probably makes it more worse than better ;-)You know what is truely sad? When I go out all day, return back, and my (18 month old) son is more polite than everyone else I've been with throughout the day.

We've taught him to say please (more like "PEAS"!), thank you ("cank ew"), and welcome ("gelcum")[1]. He almost says "excuse me" when he belches, but it sounds more like "beep beep" which I guess probably makes it more worse than better ;-)

Anywho, what ever happened to saying "Thanks" or "Thank you" or "You're welcome" or even "no problem"?

Does politeness die from age, or are we just in a 'no time to be polite' generation?

[1] Actually, there was quite a bit of confusion, here. He used to say 'thank you' by repeating what we said. But after a while we started saying "you're welcome" when he said thank you, so he thought he was supposed to say 'welcome' instead of thank you when you handed him something (got all that?) ;-). I think we finally got him squared away, but its wierd having to teach by mime instead of explanation...

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It's like road rage (1)

Patik (584959) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503565)

Once someone does it, itt spreads quickly. I used to always be polite about holding doors for people around campus, but after having the door swung back in my face one too many times I just don't bother anymore. It's a shame, really, because it would take such little effort to improve things, but everyone feels like their actions don't matter compared to everyone else's.

Re:It's like road rage (1)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7504550)

I still hold doors. I will comment if people walk through it without saying anything, or making eye contact. If there are multiple doors, a simple, "If you don't want to acknowledge me, there are other doors that don't open for you."

Not being rude, but being terse, is a pretty good way to get your point across.

Most people are rude, most people are assholes. Just because they are, doesn't mean you should join them. Like you said, it doesn't take much effort to improve things, and if 99% of the people ignore you holding the door for them, that 1% may continue to hold the door for someone else.

The fall of politness (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503662)

You hold a door open for a woman, she yells at you calling you "a scumbag NAZI," you stop holding open doors for women.

You say, "Thank you," the idiot recipeint one ups you, "No, thank _you_," you sopt sayinig Thank You.

You answer "I'm not interested," to a telemarketer, they call again, and again, you tell them if they call again you'll pull their fucking jaw off and slice their throat with their own teeth, _they_ stop calling.

Ask, don't tell. (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503690)

I always, ALWAYS order from a store with "Could I have ..., please?" It's just a thing. And always a thank you. I say thank you to the goshdarned automatic 411 voice, because I know that there is a human on the other end listening.

I cannot stand the following:

"Yeah, give me....uhhh....."

"I'll have....."

I always want to respond with "You'll have nothing unless you ask nicely for it, dickhead." or "Give you? GIVE you? Blow me." Pardon my french.

Once upon a time I was over my parents house watching Jeopardy. I like it when people say "Shakespeare for $600 please, Alex." So some grumpy old guy is saying "Shakespeare. $600." and I say "Please, moron. Shakespeare for $600, please. I hate it when people don't say please."

And I hear my mom whisper to herself "Thank you, Jesus."

I used to work retail. I remember one customer came up to the register and said "Hey, how's it going."

"Excellent, thank you!" I replied.

He jumped back, and stared. I asked what was wrong. He said "Nobody's ever said that."

:)

Re:Ask, don't tell. (1)

dthable (163749) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503783)

I always, ALWAYS order from a store with "Could I have ..., please?" It's just a thing.

Ditto. My dad would drill it into our heads that we should be saying please and thank you always. When my ex started coming over for dinner, she would say "Pass the ..." to which the old man would make a big deal and demand that she ask again with using "please". (He actually does that with anyone who comes over for dinner. It's his thing.) Four months later, she shocked her family when she asked for something using please.

Call me old fashion, but I still hold doors, use please/thank you and try to smile to other people. Sometimes you just need a smile or a small gesture from someone else to turn the day around.

Re:Ask, don't tell. (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7504057)

Call me old fashion, but I still hold doors, use please/thank you and try to smile to other people. Sometimes you just need a smile or a small gesture from someone else to turn the day around.

Most appropriate place to use "Thank you", by the way, is when the person in front of you walks through the door and lets it close without so much as looking back to see if it's about to whack you in the face. That always merits a "THANK YOU!" from me.

:)

Re:Ask, don't tell. (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7504072)

Sometimes you just need a smile or a small gesture from someone else to turn the day around.

My philosophy, also.

In fact, I try to be OVERLY polite, especially at work. I always use 'sir' and 'mame' everywhere (even at the cashier to my local garage, and even if she's a teenager). Cause sometimes I'm having a crappy day, and she'll smile back at me for thanking her, and it'll just turn the day around.

People like it when you are polite to them, and you gain just a bit more respect in people's eyes for it.

Re:Ask, don't tell. (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 10 years ago | (#7506432)

Call me old fashion, but I still hold doors, use please/thank you and try to smile to other people. Sometimes you just need a smile or a small gesture from someone else to turn the day around.

That has to be the smartest thing I've heard all day... I walk to work every day, and some days I'll be feeling crap, and then one of the people I walk past most days walking their dog will smile, or say good morning, and I'm ready to get on with the day.

On a similar note, I'm a support tutor on an IT course being run by work at the moment (it's what we do, but I'm usually over there as a technician, rather than support), and there are some people there who will ask for help, and then just ignore you once you've helped, and others who make a point of thanking you for each thing, and I can tell you which ones I go to first if both need help at once.

The least they could do is *say goodbye* at the end of the afternoon, instead of just walking out when we're finished.

Can I vs May I (1)

robi2106 (464558) | more than 10 years ago | (#7506618)

Did you ever get the lesson that "You can have something . . . but may you have it is a different story."

"Can I" involves your physical ability to be the recipient of the action, whereas "May I" involves the willingness of the party on the giving end to initiate the action with you.

I remember getting that lesson in linguistics when I was little. Not sure when or why.

jason

Re:Can I vs May I (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7507875)

Exactly. One of my English teachers, Mr. Vine, would drive home the "can I"/"may I" difference to us everytime he was the one who answered the staffroom door.

If you asked "Please can I speak to Mr. White", he'd reply "Of course you can speak to him", but would continue to stand there in the doorway until the proper question was asked. If you asked "Please may I speak to Mr. White", he'd ask Mr White to come to the door for you.

Personally, I believe that manners should be taught in the home. Unfortunately, so few people do this properly, and children are rebellious by nature and thus nonchalant about being polite, so I've come around to believing that they should be taught at home and at school.

My parents brought me up to be polite. My schoolteachers expected politeness from us, Mr. Vine more than most. But nowadays, having heard from schoolteacher friends the kind of things they have to endure from some of their less well-mannered pupils, I get the distinct impression that kids are far more impolite than ever. Mind you, that's probably what my parents' generation said about our generation once.

Re:Ask, don't tell. (1)

orange_6 (320700) | more than 10 years ago | (#7511132)

Once upon a time I was over my parents house watching Jeopardy. I like it when people say "Shakespeare for $600 please, Alex." So some grumpy old guy is saying "Shakespeare. $600." and I say "Please, moron. Shakespeare for $600, please. I hate it when people don't say please."

Jeopardy is no place for politeness, not when you're down to the $600 questions anyway. It's all about speed and making sure you can get through all the questions. I hate it when people rattle off the whole category name "Roman Imperialist Architecture for $1200, please Alex, if it's not too much trouble." If I was ever on there it'd be like "Architecture, $1200, bitch."

There's a place for courtesy, Jeopardy isn't one of them :D

politeness (1)

Abm0raz (668337) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503737)

I am extremely polite to people I don't know or see in public. I am a "Yes, sir/ma'am. No sir/ma'am. Please. Thank you. You're welcome, Excuse me, Pardon me, I'm sorry" type guy. I hold doors for strangers and offer others loose change when they need it so they don't have to break larger bills in line at stores.

Conversely, with my friends, I am usually the rudest and crassest bastard on earth. My friends and I often do the 'burn game' to the point of tears (tears of laughter for most, tears of pain and humiliation to the target).

-Ab

Re:politeness (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503986)

That sounds exactly like me. I always wonder why I'm so horribly mean to my friends and nice to total strangers! :)

However, I know how some of the other people posting here feel because sometimes I get sick of everyone being rude; however, if everyone is thinking that it just becomes more and more of an excuse for more people to be rude and no one remembers politeness anymore. So, I've consciously decided to remain polite as I was taught by my parents, regardless of how rude other people are to me.

Re:politeness (1)

dead sun (104217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7505336)

I'll chime in with the "me too" as well. Provided the person in question hasn't done anything to slight me, and strangers usually haven't, I'm nice and polite. I say no problem rather than you're welcome, though it's a matter of my not wanting to imply any sort of obligation on their behalf, it really isn't a problem if I say so. For people I'm actually going out of my way for then I'll say you're welcome.

On the other hand I'll not hold back with my friends, and it's never a problem, even with the target because they've earned whatever they're getting. Typically the people I choose to keep company with are those who purposely do things or are at least willing to own up for doing something dumb. But it isn't like I'm ribbing them for things out of their control. :)

I am still polite. (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503815)

I make eye contact and nod/smile with people on the street. I make small talk with Cashiers. I hold doors. I say thanks and "no problem" (and if you have a problem with "no problem" you can go FUCK yourself) I try not to be too much of a dick on the road (ohhh, but the things I say about your mother when you drive speed limit or slower in the left hand lane!), I am patient with clueless phone help and mildly officious "rule enforcers" who are only doing their job.

Despite having others take advantage of this, I recognize the "tragedy of the commons" and these are small niceties that I am willing to give- since they don't "cost" me anything significant (if anything at all!) I have no issue giving them up in the name of civility.

Its like there's this circular spectrum that emanates from me, and drops off at about 1/r^2, where 3 feet out is ~= 0. So at 3 feet out I'm not even involved; I'm not actively doing anything. I'm sleeping in my bed while you are on the street; I'm across town; I'm not involved.

Less than a foot in, and you're family, and/or the things I do for you weigh heavily- I could be across the country and I'm intimately entwined with the decisions you make. Or I'm helping you move house, or I'm picking you up 2 hours away in the middle of the night because your car broke down, and I have some important shit tommorrow morning.
Dig?

So there's this buffer of about 5 inches, where I could do something for you- pay you a compliment, hold a door, whatever- and that's what I give away free, to everyone. Thats the cost I'm willing to bear. (bare? Bayer?)

However, if you push beyond that 5"s, thats when I start demanding something from you. No, I will not just give you $20, what the fuck have you done for me lately?

The real issue is knowing when the line is approached and crossed.

I think that since people have had that line crossed on them (give an inch, they take a foot) its easier for them to put that line at the 3 foot barrier- I ain't gonna do SQUAT for you.

That being said - I hate my fucking loud-as-fuck neighbors. But I have good reasons for that.

North of Mason Dixon Line, yer screwed (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7503988)

There is something that happens at the I-75 bridge, people north of it suck and people south of it are cool (mostly). Move to NKY is all I can say, its like cinci-lite.

Re:North of Mason Dixon Line, yer screwed (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7504041)

Honestly, I'd like to live in NKY just for the Levee. That place rocks!

Re:North of Mason Dixon Line, yer screwed (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7504385)

It starts again once you hit Maine, though. The most polite children I've encountered in the US.

I'm not sure your suggestion about moving to North Korea is a good one, though -- yeah, I'm sure they're polite but if your kids screw up they'll send them, you and your parents to prison!

Or did you mean something else...? ;-)

Re:North of Mason Dixon Line, yer screwed (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7505039)

KY-Kentucky, the only place true bourbon whiskey can be made.

Another World of Courtesy (1)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 10 years ago | (#7505319)

Maine is an extremely polite state - it was one of the reasons Prodigy was so happy with their Maine callcenters.

My mother used to say to me, "Elwood" --- she always called me Elwood --- "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh-so smart, or oh-so pleasant." For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant --- and you may quote me.

I'm polite. (2, Interesting)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 10 years ago | (#7504027)

I'm polite. I say please and thank you. I tell the cashiers to have a nice day before they have the chance to say it to me. I remember the names of my servers (as in waiter/waitress, not my linux box) and call them that instead of "hey you" or "miss". I tip well. I hold doors. I will walk older people to their cars under my umbrella if it's raining.

Why do I do all this? Because I wear a little wooden cross on my neck. I'm representing Jesus to these people, and Jesus would not be impolite, so what right do I have?

Re:I'm polite. (1)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7505761)

I do all those things aswell. Why? Because it makes me feel good. I've never understood why people need to do good in the name of their religion when they can simply do good.

Re:I'm polite. (1)

TechnoLust (528463) | more than 10 years ago | (#7507949)

I don't do it the name of religion. I do it because I have a relationship with Jesus and He says that to show love to others is to show love to Him. I can't explain WHY, the only way you would understand is to get to know Him.

Re:I'm polite. (1)

arb (452787) | more than 10 years ago | (#7508481)

I'm polite. I say please and thank you. [...]

Why do I do all this? Because I wear a little wooden cross on my neck.

I do much the same, though for different reasons. I do it because it is the right thing to do. First and foremost I am representing me. By making the world a nicer place for those around me, it reflects back on to me, making my journey through this world a much nicer one.

Being nice to waitresses and bar staff has many, many benefits. I get better, friendlier, prompter service. If my day has been crap, the staff at my local club will always cheer me up with a friendly word of even just a nice smile and a big hug. When you look at how some of the ass-holes treat waitresses/bar staff, it really doesn't take much to make an impact on their day. They really appreciate it and at the end of the day, I would much rather make a positive impact on someone and maybe make a new friend, than to be just another faceless jerk in the crowd who they would rather avoid.

i try (1)

subgeek (263292) | more than 10 years ago | (#7505446)

are we just in a 'no time to be polite' generation?

i think you hit the nail on the head. but i see it spreading across the generations. older people get tired of rude young people, so they sometimes cave in. many rude kids are being raised by rude parents. the most irritating thing to me is that they have no concept of politeness. they don't even think they are rude because they don't know what it means to be polite. they are so focused on what they are doing that they just don't stop to consider anything else.

sometimes when i get rubbed the wrong way i let some rudeness slip out. i try not to let that happen too often. politeness is not only easy most of the time, it usually inspires like treatment. if you show someone else respect they are much more likely to respect you. that is, as long as they have a concept of respect.

It's more than mere words (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 10 years ago | (#7505500)

The thing is, in my experiences with German society, politeness has been reduced to just the words: people are expected to say Danke schoen, Bitte schoen, Gern geschehen and so on ("thank you very much", "you're welcome", "it was my pleasure")...but it's amazing how, at least in northern Germany, it's usually said in a deadpan get-this-over-with tone of voice. IOW it quite often is just a going-through-the-motions sort of politeness that is in many ways more aggravating (while gestures like holding open a door are often greeted with slight amazement -- and letting some other car get in front of you is often bluntly considered stupid, not polite).

Being truly friendly (as opposed to merely "polite") just doesn't even seem to occur to most people I've met.

Maybe I'm spoiled by having grown up in the South (well, Virginia anyway), which makes the contrast all the more jarring. But this sort of fake politeness as practiced by many people in Germany is in many ways worse IMO -- people are quite often patronizing, even downright hostile or insulting, while still formally being "polite".

I've often been told that southern Germans aren't like that, but the few times I've been there it wasn't really much better. *sigh*

On the other hand, it's often been said that it's very hard to make friends in Germany...but once you've made a friend, he/she is a friend for life: you can always count on them. So maybe the tradeoff is worth it.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Politeness (1)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7505539)

In a way, I'm almost pleased that society is less polite in general. It gives me an edge for almost no effort on my part. Being polite, in economic terms, lowers the friction of transacting. Being pleasant, especially when things go wrong, simply gets results in a way that no amount of shouting can. Maybe it's because it catches people off their guard, but more likely, if you treat people with courtesy, they will reciprocate.

In a restaurant, you can always tell a person with real class by the way they treat the waitress or the receptionist - how polite they are to people they don't even need to be. Building a rapport with a person is really no more difficult than configuring a network protocol between two computers, anyone can do it. I can guarantee that the person who masters it is a person who gets things done in all aspects of his life, and who other people go out of their way to help whenever he needs it.

Politeness out of consideration vs. selfishness (1)

Some Woman (250267) | more than 10 years ago | (#7506038)

Politeness should come from a desire to be considerate to those around you, rather than a need to feel superior to those ingrates lining the streets day after day. Here's a tip to discover which category you fall into: if somebody does not respond to your politeness to your liking do you:

a) move on with your day
b) make a catty remark regarding their ungrateful ass.

If (b), you are being polite only for the response that you garner. The rudenss with which you respond makes you out to be much less of a polite person than you fancy yourself to be.

Politeness doesn't need to be some grand, sweeping gesture, either. It's the little things. It's a brief nod to another person on the street, it's thanking the cashier for helping you...etc. I've been told that this is slightly different outside of the midwest, but here it is customary to hold the door slightly after you enter so that it doesn't slam shut in the face of the person after you. It discomforts me when somebody opens the door and expects you to enter first, as this is outside of the norm. Perhaps it is a generational thing, but I would hate to think that people only do this for women.

Re:Politeness out of consideration vs. selfishness (1)

bethanie (675210) | more than 10 years ago | (#7508733)

I would hate to think that women who get doors held open for them would cop some sort of political attitude about it. It's a nice gesture. Accept it and move on.

And for the record, I open doors for everyone -- male female, old, young -- whenever I have the chance. And in these parts, the favor is almost *always* returned. Being female, I'll never know if the person holding the door open for me is doing so out of chauvinism or politeness, but seeing as how it's challenging enough coralling a 3-year-old around town, I'm not going to question their motivation. I smile, sincerely express my thanks, and continue about my business.

....Bethanie....

Re:Politeness out of consideration vs. selfishness (1)

Some Woman (250267) | more than 10 years ago | (#7511226)

I was merely saying that I assume that others hold doors for everybody as I do- it seems to be that way, but the opening doors and expecting the other person to enter first just seems to be something awkward that older people do.

Re:Politeness out of consideration vs. selfishness (1)

bethanie (675210) | more than 10 years ago | (#7511415)

No, I hold doors open in front of me, not behind. That's standard practice around here, for young and old alike. Holding the door open behind you would be kind of a "bare minimum" consideration, just a small step better than letting the door close behind you.

....Bethanie....

Voting Official (1)

jeepliberty (624159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7506421)

When I voted in the general election on November 4, an elderly female polling official demanded: "Lemme see your voter registration card and a picture id."

It was 715am. The only thing I was there for was to vote NO to a sales tax increase, and this woman acted like she had the power of a SS storm trooper.

I had my wallet out, but I stopped in my tracks. I stared her down and said "Please?"

"What?" she retorted.
"Please may I see your voter's registration card and a picture ID. Your authority does not give you the right to be discourteous." I replied. She said please, and I turned over the documents. She lighten up a bit an said thank you when she returned them. I gave her a cheerful "You're quite welcome!"

Politeness, courtesy, and moods are contagious. If someone is unpolite or discourteous or angry, try to make a difference. If you don't, who else can you count on?

Laws don't change people, attitudes do.

My wife versus myself (1)

Degrees (220395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7506484)

I was raised to be polite, friendly, kind, etc. toward strangers. My dad's side of the family was in the restaurant business (Grandpa, uncle, and my dad (some)). So as a part of growing up, it was pressed on us kids to be nice to waitresses, and by extension, everyone. We kids had a happy childhood. We were also raised to have the kind of manners that would acceptable in polite company. (My grandma knew the Gallo family (Modesto, CA - wine), and wanted me to marry one of the granddaughters, but I digess. That's a grandma for you. ;-) )

My wife did not have a happy childhood. Her family was not at all concerned with the finer things in life - they were scrambling for even the basics. As such, my wife is not automatically polite - she has to work at it.

Sometimes, I annoy her with too much of the good manners stuff. On the other hand, all problems that need to be resolved - she hands to me! 8-D Seems you attract more flies with honey than vinegar, and she knows I get results. She worries that I won't get results, because she knows her way (delivering a raft-load of shit) will get results, and thinks I may be too nice to demand full resolution of a problem. On the other hand, just being nice hasn't failed yet (except at work, but there is a different dynamic going on there.)

Something that is kind of funny, is that my wife's boys are extremely polite towards adults - and they learned that before I showed up. Their dad wasn't around, so I guess it came from my wife. They don't know any of the fancy politeness things, but in general, they are great when they work with the public. (Both have to do retail sales right now).

It's a choice. (1)

sillypixie (696077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7506546)

In general, I find that by being my sunny, happy self, I can affect people within my little radius, for the better. When I hold a door for someone and smile (where I come from, door-holding has nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with proximity), I almost always get a smile in return. It's like Ethelred said, maybe it's the difference between being polite and friendly. I believe in being downright friendly.

We live in this crazy insular society, full of fear of 'engagement'. It seems to me that the best parts of any day are the parts where that tight little cocoon we weave gets pierced, one way or the other. The problem is, the bigger the city, the more fear there is around, and the less willing we are to take the chance on a real smile. If you're the fearing kind, you rebuff honest attempts at friendliness - and if even if you aren't the fearing kind, you reach out, and get rebuffed unfairly, and it pisses you off, and the next time you don't take that chance, and it all just spirals down, down, down, until everybody does nothing but look after themselves.

I think you can only fight it by choosing to be purposely, gladly responsive & thoughtful. By letting your care and kindness hang out there, for the world to see. If you can manage to give it, with absolutely no expectation of receiving it in return, then you can't be tainted by it, it is a tribute to whatever it is in the world that brings you joy.

I know, I know, what a silly, naive, optimistic, idealistic pixie I am... but I really believe that vulnerability is true freedom. Sure, it leaves you open to be hurt, but it also allows you to experience the very best of people...

Hooray for the Magic Word!! (1)

bethanie (675210) | more than 10 years ago | (#7508781)

We have ingrained good manners into Kiddo, as well, to the point where she even realizes that her tone of voice makes a difference.

When making a request for something, she sometimes has to be reminded to "ask nicely," in which case she will reiterate her request in the form of "Momma, can I please have some [whatever], pleeeeease?" in a singsong voice. We make jokes about Eddie Haskell, but I can't *abide* children who *demand* things of their parents (and then their parents hand it over!!). Thank you and You're welcome are also pretty automatic for her.

Another thing that we do, that is quite common here (in the South) is to refer to all grownups as "Miz Mary" or "Mister John." I feel like it's inappropriate for kids to use adults' first names, as if they were peers. Miz or Mister connotes a level of respect, an acknowledgement of the difference in age levels. It's true that all elders may not be deserving of respect -- but we're certainly going to give them the benefit of the doubt when addressing them.

As far as my manners, being nice to people is one of my main missions in life. I am constantly on the lookout for little things that I can do that might make a positive difference in others' lives -- the more anonymous, the better, although I'm not afraid to go up directly to a person and offer help.

See? Even in real life, I'm all about the Karma. :-)

....Bethanie....

Re:Hooray for the Magic Word!! (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7511441)

refer to all grownups as "Miz Mary" or "Mister John."

Joey will probably follow from my upbringing. People we (meaning me and the wife) know is Aunts and Uncles. My former roommates who stop by will be "Uncle Rob" and "Uncle Wolf". They aren't related, but being good friends get the extra respect. People they don't know are "Sir" or "Mame" until told otherwise.

Everybody (1)

orange_6 (320700) | more than 10 years ago | (#7511179)

I try to be polite to everyone. Holding doors, saying please and thank you, asking not demanding, etc. And I've noticed that many people will at least thank you for helping them. If nothing else, you may just inspire that person to help someone else during the day.

I'm of the mindset that "we're all in this together, let's make the best of it" and how better to accomplish this than doing the little things that people have seemingly forgotten about.

Although, I was a Boy Scout...and you know their addage "do a good turn daily" or something like that.

None of this applies to Jeopardy.

Being a New England gentleman... (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7514507)

...descended from Scottish nobility, I am renowned for my politeness.

Politeness and little kids (1)

AB3A (192265) | more than 10 years ago | (#7521185)

My son, when he was about 18 months old did exactly what your son does. Please and Thank-you (actually it was "Pease" and "Finks") were even heard when he was semi-comatose in the middle of the night asking for a drink of water.

But he got over it. There is a certain F___ -you attitude you see in most large urban areas these days. I think it has to do with the unlikeliness that we'll ever see one another any time soon.

I think it's unusual to see a happy attitude among those who have to deal with the public every day. The more anonymous faces you meet the less you think of each one other than getting them out of the way.

Big cities do this to us. This is one very big difference between rural living and city living:
We have got to find a way to be more sociable in large communities. This includes, by the way, the internet itself.

One of my favorite sig lines is "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a jerk." There is much wisdom in this...

My Thoughts (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7523675)

I'm surprised that I never read this until today.

I think that politeness & courteousness are so important. They are the grease that gets us what we need & where we want to go.

A perfect example of this is when I go shopping. I finish the transaction with, "Thanks very much. I appreciate your service.", or something more relevant to the situation. I try to let my my emotions & body language reflect the type of interaction that we've had already: if we were happy, then I'll try to be happy; if we were neutral, then I'll try to be neutral; etc.

I definitely don't give out thanks & appreciation to those who I consider rude. I usually won't say anything about it, but I won't give out thanks & appreciation, lest it cheapen the meaning & sentiment.

Regarding cutting in lines, I consider this to be very rude. It's a hard & fast rule of civilized societies that you don't cut in lines. I think that this the mentality of some drivers as well. To a certain degree, I agree with this, but roads are really roads & not line ups. I don't think that people should drive unsafely, though.

Politeness does seem to be a cultural thing. Lots of times I hold the door open, but I usually try to avoid looking people in the eyes, to kind of give them their privacy, or something like that. Now that I know that some people see it otherwise, I'll try to make some eye contact. I surely hope that I always said thanks, when people held doors open for me. To emphasize the cultural thing a bit further, my parents don't seem to have the politeness standards that I do. In fact, it used to be a real point of friction bewteen me & them. I never noticed how impartially they were treating me until we went to visit the Kung Fu place that I journaled about. My dad almost wore his shoes into the main area despite the fact that there was a sign there saying not to. My dad also didn't notice the guy looking @ our feet. Unless my dad was doing something to trick me, that really nailed home the fact that he was treating everybody the same for better or for worse.

Regarding the idea of setting a good image for Christians, well, that's good if you can do it. I usually try to do good deeds for as many reasons as possible. If it were based on only 1 reason, then you wouldn't be able to do many of them. For example:
* makes person(s) happy
* it's the morally right thing to do
* earns me & others a good reputation
* etc.
There are many times when being a Christian won't earn me a good reputation. There are many times when what I do may not appear to make a person happy. There are many times when it isn't a moral issue, but an economic or cultural issue. The more reasons & benefits we can get out of this, the more it can become a "brainless" activity, & we can move on. Obviously, we don't want to become insincere, but hopefully, you know what I mean.
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