Chivalry? How About Good Old-Fashioned Manners!

3 10 2010

I’ll admit I’m not the most politically correct guy around but that has nothing to do with the level of respect I hold for anyone. I am a firm believer in the golden rule and will treat others, regardless of race, sex, sexual preference, nationality, religion, social status, etc., as I would like to be treated. But some people seem to wear their feelings on their sleeves and are quick to jump on anyone who doesn’t fit their mold.

For example, I spoke at a conference in Washington, D.C. I don’t recall the name of the hotel but I do remember it was a nice place. Not the kind of place where you make your own waffles in the morning. It was more like a $20 continental breakfast place.

As I was crossing the vast hotel lobby, I noticed a young lady dressed in her riding togs and pushing a bicycle toward the door. I approached the door just ahead of her and like I would do for anyone, male or female, I held the door open to allow her to push her bike out.

I quickly got the impression she did not want me to hold the door for her. In addition to several names and a few carefully chosen references to my mother and the legitimacy of my birth, she explained to me in nautical terms- words I had not heard since I was in the Coast Guard- that she was perfectly capable of opening the door herself.

Blame the feminist movement. Blame parents too lazy to teach manners. Blame an erosion of respect for fellow man (and woman). But at some point we lost our social compass-right about the same time we lost our moral compass. A connection, you suppose? Still, I believe the pedaling feminazi is the exception rather than the rule. Few people will spurn good manners with the vehemence she did.

What did I do to deserve this abusive verbal assault-I held the door open for another person. Yes, I do consider myself a gentleman-something I take pride in. My wife and I first met and began dating 42 years ago this month and she has never once complained that I was too polite. I still open the car door for my wife. I sit after she sits. I insist that she, or any female for that matter, enter a door ahead of me. I make no apologies for being polite. That’s how I was raised and that’s how I am. I may be a bit anachronistic but I think there is room for manners in any generation. So, to the young biker, don’t ask me to be rude and I won’t ask you not to be.

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One response

5 10 2010
Jackie Garner

Good thinking there Bill.Now I have something to say when I am trying to be nice and polite and the people I am trying to simply be nice to are so rude in return.Why have people lost the old school ways of kind gestures or the words we all grew up with…. Like Please and Thank You.Oh well we just have to remember all the ones that do appricate those things we were raised to do. Not the handful that have no concept of just be nice to each other. Thanks for the reminder.And I already can hear you say “You’re welcome.”

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