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Have a nice day, an ode to etiquette lost

June 19, 2008 - LLee Janssen

The scene: A pedestrian crosses the street as the walk light flashes to signal time is about up and the light changes green for motorists going north-south. The guy driving a souped-up pickup truck jams on the gas and barrels forth, regardless of the little old lady who isn't quite finished crossing the street. As he narrowly misses the pedestrian, the truck driver sticks his head out the window, opens his mouth at her and goes "lo-lo-lo-lo-lo-lo-lo" with his tongue.

Like he thinks he's cute or above it all or something. In actuality, he comes across as a mean-spirited jerk.

Another scene: A person sits through a difficult meeting and later is visibly upset. A colleague thinks he knows why but, despite being way off base, can't give the other the time requested when she responds that she really doesn't want to talk about it at this minute. Instead of respecting the need for space, the colleague pushes on, taunting the other, insisting he knows it all, and provoking a needless scene, a senseless argument, headaches all the way around. 

These are just two situations where common courtesy seems to have gone out the door. The sad part is, this lack of courtesy seems to be the norm these days.

How long has it been since you've been cut off on the highway, only to have the offending motorist blare his horn at you? When was the last time you paid good money for something that you later needed customer service for but were treated, then, like some sort of crook? Or have you felt used for the convenience of others but without concern for your own well-being?

There's much that is beyond our control, but the way we treat others is something that each of us has the power to do something about.

And so I say to you, gentle readers, "Have a nice day." No, make that "a great day." Better yet, have a day full of joy and peace, contagious smiles and gratitude for what is possible rather than hurling nasties at those who stand between you and the other side of the street. Wish someone well ... mean it, and help another soul make it through their own difficult day.



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