I am a great observer of people, their behaviour, their mannerisms and how they act generally.
One thing I have noticed is that there is one thing older people are better at than youngsters and that’s being rude!
Some older people have got it down to a fine art. Now I hear on TV and read on the internet that the younger generation are rude especially to their elders. Well I reckon it’s often the other way round.
When I travel on buses I see what’s loosely called the older generation always taking the isle seat as though they are daring somebody to ask them to move so they can sit in the vacant seat by the window. it’s as though it’s their territory, they will sometimes dump their bag next to the window so they are taking up both seats.
When the bus gets full and somebody dares ask them for them to move so they can sit down they give what I call a cat butt face and mutter as they move, normally to sit by the window leaving the newcomer to squeeze on the edge of the seat half on and half off mainly because the person who had to move across has still left a gap between them and the window.
Then to top it off the person who moved will normally get off at the next stop where they will reach right across in front of the other person and press the bell then they will sweetly ask the person on the outside to move. I see it time and time again.
The other thing that happens is that the elderly will get on and ignore the seats where they have priority and sit elsewhere, then when a youngster is forced to sit in a seat where the elderly have priority because they are in the other seats they will be stared at as though they have committed some terrible crime.
Same at a bus stop the older generation will walk in front of those younger so they can get on first, as though their age gives them priority.
Now I am not saying that all older people are rude nor that all younger people are well mannered but I have noticed that if I encounter a rude youngster invariably they have a rude parent close behind.
I firmly believe that children generally only as well behaved as the worst behaved of their parents. I have seen that proven time and time again.
So where does this leave mid life man? Well the answer is confused to be honest, it takes no more effort to be well mannered than it does to be ignorant and rude, in fact well mannered people generally always seem to be happier. So why be ignorant, rude and miserable when you can be pleasant and happy for no more effort?
The reason is that some people actually seem in a strange sort of way to be happy when they are miserable, it gives them some sort of pleasure to be a hassle, to irritate others and to make those around them miserable. You know those sort of people that if you say to them that it’s a nice day they will answer that it will rain the next day. They never get anything positive from anything.
So I will sit here meditating at the lack of manners generally and the decline of standards in inter human communication. I don’t know where we went wrong or how we can fix it but I honestly think that the lack of manners is to a large extent a product of our fragmented society where people seem to place importance on trivial things and ignore the important bits. Where a smart phone is a status symbol and a normal phone is a sign of poverty. Where parents will buy cigarettes and alcohol and then tell their children they can’t afford the packet of sweets the child wants. Where Please and Thank You are becoming lost words in our language. Where we have no time for others because we have no time for ourselves. Where we have more so called friends on Facebook than we do face to face.
It’s a sad world even for the happy people.