Thursday, May 26, 2011

Timeless Virtue

Let me get up on my soap box, just once!  I'll make it quick!  My hope is that I am not the only one who has this pet peeve ...
As hard as I try not to be a stick in the mud, I do have a couple of them.  I don't impose any of my pet peeves on other people -- except one.  My biggest pet peeve is manners, friendliness, and civility.  (Yes, I lump them together; that's how it seems to fit naturally, at least in my mind)  These values have seemed to diminish as a commonality in the past few decades, & in all age groups!  It's a misconception that this is just an old-people-only thing.  Back in the 40s & 50s (heck, even before), I think accountability was pressed more, and I like that!  There is a lot of anonymity these days, and although it's nice to be able to go grocery shopping in your pj's sometimes :) I think its only natural for people to interact and "lean on each other" if you will, in everyday life.  It builds honesty, and thus, trust.  Maybe this is just a small town thing (*raises hand*), but I believe that people should look out for each other and give of themselves.  Community is such a big idea in small towns.  If I got locked out of the house as a kid, our trusted neighbors would invite me in, give me a snack, and try to contact my parents.  If someone was a dime or a dollar short in the checkout line, undoubtedly another patron would step forward and offer it to them.  This was not done to be a Mother Theresa, but just because its the right thing to do.  Its nice.
 I try my best to realize that not everyone came straight out of the Andy Griffith Show, so I usually only get irked by rude people.  This is all I ask ... be nice to everyone you meet (even that guy you passed on the freeway or the teller at the bank), and greet them with a smile on your face, and a ready sense of grace and friendliness.  "You are responsible for the energy you bring into this place"  Miss Oprah Winfrey says.  So regardless of whether you think you're being "watched", do the right thing.  Sure, we all have annoyances in life, such as traffic, lost keys, late schedules, etc, but why wrinkle your brow and take it out on everyone you come into contact with?  We all know what manners are ... greeting people you meet with a smile, saying please & thank you, using manners in car-and-foot-travel (yesssss, store aisles & sidewalks too!), helping others when we see an opportunity (holding doors, letting a mom with kids go in front of you in line), and not being rude!  (Which I consider mean/rude comments, foul language, poor "traffic" or table manners, etc)  Or maybe its simply that you're stressed out and don't WANT to be mature, and instead get irritated at every little thing. I know I do this way too often!  Like I said, we all have a clear idea of what is nice and what is rude.  So whether we live in a city amongst many people we don't know and may very well never see again, or Mrs. Johnson who you see around town almost weekly, let's do the right thing!

Thanks for letting me preach for awhile!  This is always a big one on my heart.  I am a big people person, and I so wish the concept of true community will be lived out more and more.

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