By Amari D. Pollard
Maybe I’m old fashioned for my age [my dad claims I’m a 90 year old woman stuck in a teenager’s body], or I just see things differently [who knows], but I really don’t understand people today.
It seems we live in a time where too often children scream and curse at their parents [if I even think of raising my voice at my parents then it’s game over], students backtalk their teachers, people mindlessly let doors slam in others’ faces [I swear if that happens to me one more time!], courtship [apparently there is no more “first comes love, then comes marriage,” it’s just “first comes like, then sex.”] and chivalry are steadily decreasing.
The lines between proper and improper, between respect and disrespect are all blurring together.
I would love to blame it on reality television [especially The Kardashians]; to say people, especially kids, act foolishly because they see the ridiculous actions of “celebrities” being celebrated on TV. Unfortunately, I can’t because I know that’s not the case.
Maybe the fact is we as a people are forgetting to take value in one another, to treat everyone with a certain amount of respect and failing to instill that mentality in our children as well.
It’s a vicious and ceaseless cycle.
“Please” and “thank you” used to seem like such a basic sign of politeness and an automatic gesture, but now it’s a great accomplishment for those who are even able to open their mouths to utter the words. Over Thanksgiving break during my junior year of high school my parents and I went to visit my sister in Dublin, Ireland where she was studying abroad. We were heading back to our hotel on the bus and our stop was coming up. As I was walking down the aisle I noticed there was an elderly woman waiting to get out of her seat. I almost walked past her, but then I doubled back and let her go in front of me. She looked completely dumbfounded. For a second I thought she was going to have a heart attack. I remember she turned to me and said, “Thank you so much; you just don’t see many kids with manners today.” And funny enough, after I let her out she was cut off by some teenager.
I’m not saying I exemplify perfect manners 24/7 by any means. I just find it funny how, in a society that is “supposedly” progressing we seem to be moving backwards when it comes to our morals.
As these behaviors become more common, the decency of our future society becomes that much bleaker. We’re so accustomed to living in a time where our lives are centered around ourselves, around social media and feelings of entitlement.
My mind is constantly blown by the level of impudence displayed, my ears mutilated by the ridiculously vulgar words heard [people need to wash their mouths out with soap] and it’s saddening. I often find myself nodding in agreement when my parents talk about the “old days” when there was a universal understanding of courtesy, as if I was there along with them.
I’m confident if people better judge the righteousness of their actions these present issues at hand will start to dissipate. Maybe we’re going through one of those teenage phases where we forget our upbringing. But that’s no excuse, because we’re better than this.
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