Tuesday, August 19, 2008

the magic word

Today at work I was again reminded how it seems that no one says the word please anymore. Or thank you. Or excuse me. Why is is that I am more surprised when someone actually says these small magic words then when they fail to? Hmmm.

"May I please try/see/touch this thingamabob?" has become "I want this." Oh really. I want a million dollars but that has about as much chance of happening as your saying please apparently. Rudenesss is becoming dreadfully commonplace. And that is simply unacceptable.

Rude people act rude because they think it is ok or that they can get away with it, and they will continue to do so until something makes them think otherwise. Every time you have the opportunity to confront rudeness, you have a chance to help reform that person’s behavior. It's like training small children. Be constant and consistent.

In all likelihood, it will take many confrontations to break the habit of rudeness. And, as we all are all probably familiar, it is much easier for an established habit be reinforced than broken. When you do not confront rudeness, not only do you forgo a chance at helping stop it – you actually encourage it by giving that person the positive reinforcement of getting away with it.

When was the last time you said, "please may I..." to the lady taking your order at the sandwich shop? Or "excuse me" when you bumped into someone or cut in front of them? If you were so rude as to cut? If we all made a concerted effort to think before we speak and act, and use the manners that our parents drilled into us as children, wouldn't the world be a little bit better?

Be the change you want to see in the world. Please.

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