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Away From Home

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

On decency

So I was on the Metro, coming home, and the train was largely full (as usual). At one stop, a seat became empty, and these two kids ( <10 years old) and their mom started obviously heading for it. Just before the kids got there, some lady practically dived into it, right in front of the kids. She even looked at one of the kids afterward, so she obviously knew what she had just done.

I watched all this and was appalled. Who in the world steals seats from little kids? I, of course, rose to offer my seat, but they found other (non-adjacent) nearby seats instead.

I never cease to be amazed at how little people think of one another. Nobody's ever nice to one another anymore. For example, I always try to hold doors for people if I notice they're coming. More often than not, I'll either get a strange look (as if I'm out of my mind for holding a door), or the person will just blast on through as if nothing had happened, without even a thank-you.

I can't decide whether rude people are the majority these days, or if they're just that much more noticeable than everyone else.


  • It's because you're a Kansan.

    By Blogger Logan C. Adams, at 6/14/2005 07:29:00 PM  

  • I don't think that's true at all, Scott. I also hold doors and very rarely get weird looks, and I'm a New Englander, where we're notorious for being a little curmudgeonly.

    There are, and always have been, rude people; there's not much we can do about them except ignore them.

    By Blogger Jay Denari, at 6/14/2005 10:38:00 PM  

  • Perhaps it seems more true than it actually is, since I tend to notice the negative reactions more. I still think it happens more often than not.

    By Blogger Scott, at 6/14/2005 10:49:00 PM  

  • OK. I am a Kansan, too, but I still live in Kansas, so have a different perspective. Did, or do, any of you former Kansans experience this?

    (I am a stat guy, so that will explain why I know that approximately 8 of 10 people for whom I hold a door do acknowledge with a "thank you" or other gesture of gratitude).

    BUT did you notice that the other 20 percent that do not acknowledge with a "thank you" or other response are usually the people with whom you are more familiar (family or friend).

    If you have experienced this, any ideas why this phenomena happens?

    My thinking is that most of us tend to take family and friends for granted. If so, it is sad commentary.

    Any other thoughts?

    By Anonymous DOD, at 6/15/2005 01:53:00 AM  

  • I'd agree that it's because we tend to take family and friends forgranted, but I also think it's because we ourselves don't always tell them thank you.

    To me, what's worse than someone not thanking you for holding the door is when someone actually berates you for either holding the door for them or for allowing a man to hold the door for you. Yes, I have had both of those happen. And I've seen girls blast guys for holding their doors (such as one girl who was so insistent on opening her own door that the gent in question let it slam shut on her face). I've also been yelled at by females when they've seen me ask the guy I was with to drive; when I've allowed a guy to carry in a package/box/shopping bag for me; and when I've gotten up from a buffet table to refill my drink and taken Micah's with me to fill his. Mostly, they're comments along the "You're allowing him to put you into the June Cleaver mold. You need to stand up for yourself as a woman." To which I generally reply by asking "Do you ever do anything for your partner?" It seriously amazes me how many of these women are either single or never do simple, nice things for fear they'll lose their 'freedom' if they do. It's shameful!

    By Blogger Mela, at 6/15/2005 09:59:00 AM  

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