As parents, we spend A LOT of time working on manners with our little ones.
‘Pp ee aaaaass!’
And so it goes on.
From the moment they coo their first ‘NO’ till. Well. Probably forever. Most of us will be there – when we can – reminding our offspring of their pleases and thank yous. *You’re doing a great job BTW!
However. I do think it’s high time that we put our own teaching into much better practice on ourselves. Because, it absolutely doesn’t cost a thing to say please or thank you in general passing. And, to also acknowledge someone when they say it to us. A ‘you’re welcome’ or even just a nod or smile is all that’s needed.
The simplest interactions seem to go out the window once we’ve left the coziness of our family homes. Now obviously not everyone throws their manners away on the way to work. But I reckon some do and possibly without even realising it.
*You know the examples coming right? *Oh yes… you know me well.
Every morning on my way to the tube station I say ‘thank you’ to the various London bus drivers that I cross paths with, as I get onto their buses over the week. The majority of them stare blankly *rudely? (into the oblivion) at me.
Some seem to have a fright that I’ve actually said ‘thank you’ and look a tad worried.
And the teeniest tiniest minority smile back. Possibly because their faces won’t let them not smile back. Smiling is contagious right?
At first I thought, you know what, I don’t blame them.
I have only ever heard one other person (occasionally) saying thank you to the bus drivers in the morning at my stop. One. It seems like a rare occurrence. And well…. they are not used to it right?
But actually wrong!! Wrong, wrong, wrong! If you don’t acknowledge a thank you, sooner or later the very VERY few people that do say thank you… will stop. Then we’re all as bad as each other?!
I’m not going to give up though. Because as sh*t as it is when I make Little Button also say thank you if we get on the bus together – and the bus driver blanks us both… there’s no way I’m going to allow her to grow up into a hard faced adult. The kind who stares blankly into the face of a well mannered person. Never says thank you. And certainly won’t say ‘you’re welcome’.
Food for thought perhaps? Absolutely. And as the old saying goes, don’t forget to mind your own manners! 😉
*I won’t be saying thank you to the bus driver who blinking shut me in the bus doors last week and laughed!!!