Doorway to manners.

Same place. Two separate occasions. Scene: front door to my apartment building. We have two main doors. One that isn’t locked accessed from the street, and an inner door that needs a key to open it.

Situation #1

Two kids from the building had been out on their bikes, and I held the door open for one of them so he could ease his bike in. Kid said nothing, but other kid waiting outside said in French “hey, dude, aren’t you going to thank the lady for holding the door for you?? come on, be nice” – kid then mumbled a thank you.

Situation #2

Mother was leaving the building with two small children. I held the door open for her. I know what a struggle it is trying to open doors and herd kids through. She didn’t even look up to acknowledge me, or encourage her kids to say thank you. The janitor was close by and he told me he was disappointed that this lady didn’t even say thanks.

I always look to see what I can do to help others. I do not do it for the praise, I do it just because it’s the right thing to do. But a little bit of common decency doesn’t hurt. Obviously the boy in the first story was raised right – he was only 10 but he knew you need to acknowledge a kindness. My boys always hold doors, help old ladies with groceries etc. and they are constantly surprised that kids of their generation tend not to do these things. It’s not going to stop me from opening doors in the future, I just wonder where all the manners have gone.

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  1. ladylockandload says:

    Pretend they said thank you and answer “Your Welcome”. Then people wake up out of their day dreams and say thank you. Most people, anyways. And thanks for this blog entry, LOL.

  2. I didn’t start saying thank you to people until i was almost an adult..not cause I wasn’t thankful, but because I was painfully shy about talking to strangers. So maybe that kid was shy? :)

  3. wow, I’m glad to know that this is not just a problem we face in Israel.

    abandoning eden — Thanks for the insight. My kids are all very shy around strangers and it never occured to me that their shyness might affect their manner!

  4. Jacob da Jew says:

    Not to make excuses for people I don’t even know but could be her mind was distracted?

  5. Yonit says:

    I 2nd that she might have been too frazzled to think straight. I sometimes swear I said something outloud & hadn’t and other times say the same thing twice in a row. Mommy brain.

    There are some thoughtless people out there and ladylockandload’s suggestion covers both. If they are just distracted, it’ll remind them and if they are rude, hopefully it teaches them. :)

  6. a little more subtle than saying “you’re welcome” could be to say “have a nice day!” that way, you are reaching through their “stupor” and if it wakes them up, they will respond with “you too” or “thank you” or whatever.

    it is a good point that some people are just too inside their own head to notice things sometimes or remember to say “thank you.”

    we were definitely raised to say “thank you” all the time, but I admit that sometimes I really am too distracted to remember (and I was like that before the chemo-brain thing!)

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