I’m not sure if it’s a matter of time, or of societies, of even of age, but I’m often appalled by the unprovoked rudeness of people.
I grew up in Switzerland and lived there for nearly four decades; now I’ve spent more than fifteen years in the USA. I haven’t traveled to Europe in many years and have no idea if the general evolution in people’s behavior has become upsetting, there as well.
I do know that in the place and time I’m living in now, I’m observing rudeness almost daily.
As an older adult, one is inclined to think that it’s the young people who are rude.
But they are not the only ones!
I see more and more older people who have thrown humility and kindness far overboard – if they ever had any – and just plow ahead without any “please” or “excuse me” or “thank you.” It seems that some of them falsely assume that old age gives them license to forget about politeness and good behavior, or even just minimum civility.
Sometimes I wonder if the wide-spread lack of (school) education here in the USA is to blame, but then I watch the primaries on TV and must conclude that our “elite” behaves in quite similar ways, if not worse.
Yes, bad manners are everywhere and of all age, and for no apparent reason.
People bump into you on the street,
they talk over you and don’t listen (this includes workers with jobs that should include people skills such as customer service representatives of all kinds and doctors),
they do not hold the door open for you but rather slam it in your face,
adults purposefully settle in front of small children at events,
people take photos of other people’s distress instead of lending a helping hand,
cell phones ring everywhere and people discuss any kind of business loudly on the phone, whether it disturbs others or not,
no one has any idea of how to stand in line (instead of elbowing their way up front),
any government employee (DHS, IRS, etc.) will greet you with hostility if you have the bad idea to need their help,
and don’t get me started on cars, the way people drive, and even the way people park.
Is the end of good manners and etiquette in view?
Or has it already come?
Either way, I find navigating in today’s society more and more difficult and upsetting and wish everyone would take a course (or refresher course) of the teachings of Freiherr Adolph Knigge.