Manners are a lost art- said someone, annoyed
We live where people vacation. One accepts that as part of making a life in South Florida. I am very grateful for the ocean and warm weather most days but complaints about Florida are well documented and my latest gripe involves the migration of French Canadians.
In the winter we expect it. The aging population of our neighbors to the north have long enjoyed their golden years on our shores, but in July it came as entirely unexpected. Our peaceful building was overrun recently and children screaming in French is not nearly as charming as one might think.
My man and I huff and puff as we peer over our balcony at the swimming pool they have colonized. "It's 8:00pm - go inside!! They've been here for a month- aren't they bored by now?! Why aren't they at Disney World already?!!
It is not their presence that bothers me as much as their manners, or lack thereof. Basic parenting and self-awareness seem lost on them--your children screaming, in a community without any other children, is going to be a problem. How is that not obvious?
Anyway, hopefully whatever public holiday which extends for four weeks in Quebec will come to an end and I can have my 9:00am swim back soon.
White People Problems, indeed.
This inconvenience did get me thinking about manners. On a macro level. On a Trump size level.
Why is he ahead in some polls? Is he qualified to be the leader of the United States? I would say no, emphatically, based on resume alone. But he is ahead and people who support him remark at how much they appreciate his "tell it like it is" attitude. Many say the same of Chris Christie, also running for the 2016 Republican ticket.
So what is it about loud, brash, insulting men- because that would never work for women, except on Fox News and only if they look like Pageant Queens- that some people respond so well to?
It could be the Twitter and Facebook driven culture that allows us all to opine in isolation. Every vile thought can be validated and debated but getting the last word in is really the only goal of any of it, solutions be damned. Donald Trump calling people weak, stupid, or pathetic may mirror the snarky bitch in your head but that doesn't mean he (or you) are right.
It could be a reaction to Politically Correct culture that exists more so now than ever. A whiff of offense ignites reactive Tweeting which has caused many Comedians to opt out of their College Tours, and other engagements, because of the sterile parameters they are forced to abide by.
Having consideration for others, however, is not the same as being easily offended.
Emily Post, the Grande Dame of etiquette, and who's grandchildren continue to promote her work today, was quoted as saying “Good manners reflect something from inside- an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.” She is also credited with this: “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”
Please, take that into consideration: on Twitter, in the voting booth, and especially at the pool.