I’m a firm believer in the concept of nurture over nature. I believe if a child is taught basic goodness, they will become a good person regardless of where they are raised. I am not fond of the fact that my 50th Birthday is next year, but I do take pride in feeling like I was raised right and during a good time period. I remember doing a lot of things that are no longer done (changing the channel on the television manually, actually “dialing” a phone, making “mix tapes”). Just recently I instructed my 23 year old daughter on how to keep a vinyl record from skipping (tape a penny on the top of the needle), she thought it was genius.
I shake hands when I meet people. I say please and thank you, yes sir, yes ma’am. I try to stand when a woman enters the room… though this one slips my mind at times. I hold doors open for women.
I feel old when I see the younger generation do certain things, I don’t necessarily have ill will toward them, rather I wish I could talk to their parents. The kids may be messing up, but kids do what they learn. Until the kids have moved out of the house, the parents are responsible. Even my daughter shakes her head at her generation knowing they’ve gone wrong. People often compliment my wife and I about our daughter. “She’s so nice, well mannered, personable.” This should be the norm, not the exception.
This leads me to a story. I was waiting to catch a bus not too long ago. I was second in line behind a woman about my age and in front of a young woman in her early 20s. The bus came and stopped in front of the younger woman as there was a car at the curb. The young woman just got on the bus as the door opened. She didn’t look to me or the woman in front of me, she didn’t ask or pause, she just got on.
Now, this NOT a big deal. I know this. I’m not a lunatic. BUT, it’s a simple part of how society functions; you stand in line, the first person gets on, then the second… If we remove these small things everywhere, what happens? Who taught this girl to do this and not follow simple social norms? Personally I think it’s those things that hold our society together. Not following rules as much as taking consideration for those around you.
I know, I know… I sound like an old man. If that’s what I am now… I’m fine with it.