“Kindness is a language which the dumb can speak, the deaf can understand.”
I like politeness. I like polite people. I am polite myself and think that everybody who is “practicing” that virtue deserves just the same from others.
So what brought me to this short article? What thought was it? I tell you. Times. We live in strange times, where so many things take priority before us being nice and more attentive to each other.
We are moving with reckless haste, not looking right or left, somehow not caring… We are missing possibly nice smile from someone, possibly chance to say hello to someone, or even help someone.
I came from country where politeness was valued very highly. Children at the moment they spoke first words were taught to greet elders. You’ve met child in apartment complex and you’ve heard loud and clear “Good day!” Men always opened doors for ladies and were very chivalrous, I can go on and on… And I miss that. This is not to say that all are rude or disinterested in better manners, but on average situation in that respect is much worse than some years back and continues to worsen even more and that especially with younger generation.
I remember, when I was growing up and at my teenage years reading anxiously my favored philosophers, I came across article from Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) on the subject.
And I loved it and remember it like I’d read it just yesterday.
So here it is: (my translation)
“Society of porcupines were pressing at each other during very cold day to share some warmth. But very soon they started to feel sharpness of each other needles and separated far away from each other. However, cold forced them to gather back closer, but repeated discomfort forced them to part again…That “evil” was repeated many times, until… they found just a right distance for themselves and finally felt mutually comfortable. And that is called in human society “Politeness and good manners”.
Now I would like to include an interesting statistic…my own :)
I walk my dog twice a day and must cross main road in order to get to park and other open spaces. Cross lights are rather far away, so we (Brit and me) must wait for cars to pass. There is no really big traffic, so it depends on drivers whether they slow down and let us cross.
This is happening often and because I always waive and smile I know exactly who the driver is. So after close observation for some time this is my result, fairly accurate:
Men slow down (all ages) 8 out of 10
Women (all ages) 5 out of 10
Women (very young) 2 out of 10
(Well, I moved away, but still, I remember the place and its interesting statistic)
Now, are men more polite? Or is it because I’m a woman? What do you think?
With deep politeness,
What do you think?…