Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's Chat About Rudeness...




     This post is to expand on my pet peeve of rudeness.  Rather, the tendency that society has to celebrate rudeness.

     These days, people often say things to each other that they believe are clever, witty, honest, and direct; when in fact what they are saying is just plain rude.

     To make matters worse, there are these lovely things called "reality shows" that have grown in popularity over the last decade.  Not only do they glorify and desensitize people to rudeness, not being able to control ones own temper has become a trait to admire.  Personally, I think if you are past the age of 8 and haven't learned to reign it in, SEEK HELP.  If one wants to tell me that helps the ratings, and when the cameras are off everyone is super swell; well, that's not reality.  It's just off putting at its best.  Gordan Ramsay may be a wonderful husband, father and humanitarian, but I don't know and I haven't sought to find out simply because I do not think that temper tantrums are entertaining.  As a parent I get my fix.  Not to mention that I live in an extremely family oriented community, so if my girls are on their best behavior one day, I need not travel far to witness some other child's meltdown.  So, that's my thought on reality shows.

     Only problem is, it is reality in a lot of circumstances these days.

     The word snap, used to mean a type of closure. Now it means gotcha!  Everyone loves to diss... How did this word come about?  It is slang for "to disrespect".  So... the beat goes on.

     I hate to admit it, but I too have joined the band and have an unfortunate talent for coming up with witty quips that are not always victimless.  Some wise person once said "Use your wit to amuse, not to abuse."  I need to remember that.

     I believe our love of technology has fostered our rudeness as well.  With all the Twitter lingo,
and being glued to a smart phone screen; who makes eye contact anymore? An honest to God conversation is just too much to hope for from some.  What's more, Twitter, and many websites allow users to comment, using ID's that may or may not disclose their actual identity.  If you have joined a social network such as Twitter or any popular site,  I doubt if I need to enlighten you how "honest and direct" people can be when they're protected by a "mask" of sorts.  As we delve deeper down the rabbit hole, with our gadgets, and the latest this and that; do we move further away from real human conversation, connection and truly caring about one another?
     Telemarketing has reached insane heights in past years.  How many of us have been unnecessarily rude to someone who called at an unwanted time, (anytime), who was just doing their job in this crazy economy?  Guilty here. 
     There are some cities and even countries that are known for their rudeness.  New York I believe was the US capital, but I think with all it has gone through we have discovered the Big Apple has a big heart.
     Los Angeles is another city where "attitude" reigns supreme.  Curious thing I discovered while living there, is there are a whole lot of people from other places, that come to LA, then seemingly choose to chuck their manners to the curb.   People who are actually born and raised in LA, in my experience were quite nice.
     Of course the country that comes to mind when someone says rude is France.  Most notably, Paris.  Paris is a beautiful city, and again, most Parisians I spoke with were amiable as well as helpful.  However, if you are there and don't speak a word of French, and expect all Parisians to speak English, (which many of them do) then you may be in for a rude awakening.  That "do unto others" idea tends to be universal.  France is where the phrase tete-a-tete came from.  Translated as a head to head or a face to face chat, (vis-a-vis); in this hustle and bustle world who has time for a personal chat?
     As we fall out of practice of sitting down for a chat, can a loss of manners and humanity, be far behind?  Compassion and empathy?

      Which brings me to my big concern over this fashionable rudeness: are we building a wall
between each other?  While there is global warming, inside are we getting chillier? Through one means or another have we become a nation of quick wits waiting for the next chance to pounce, at the risk of hurting someone?  Even if it's a stranger at a store, on the phone, or online; who's to say what is too much?   How can we know for certain, when and what makes up "enough is enough?"  What happens when it's not a stranger?

     What happens when that dam breaks?  What price will we have to pay for being witty?
I don't know the answer-  just putting the questions and the thoughts out there. 

Someone once said, "Good manners are nothing more than a series of petty sacrifices."

Let me be the first to make some.  Have a good day.  Take care of the ones that matter and of you.

Thank you for reading.