I was recently at a large shopping centre, wandering aimlessly as I do, when I strolled past a major retailer that had a sign at their front entrance asking people to “Please be kind to our staff” and it really got me thinking.
There has always been the cry of the lack of manners; even Aristotle launched forth about their absence way back in 4BCE, while in 1530, poor affronted Erasmus of Rotterdam was so incensed at the shocking behaviour of youth that he wrote his book “On the Civility of Children’s Behaviour” – a major best seller of the day.
I too could launch forth into the disappearance of things we used to consider basics like please, thank you and excuse me or even ‘let me hold the door for you’ but seriously, there seems to be enough written about this – for centuries!!
No, instead I wish to have my spit about how our society seems to have taken a rather large, hefty leather boot-sized step further to a lack of respect and, yes, the disappearance of kindness.
With all the major advances in so many fields, it seems we have lost sight of basic humanity.
The demographic for the store I mentioned above does not include the eshays who test your car doors at night or throw chairs in the classroom; the ones who are kindness challenged (unfortunately kids usually learn what they live with).
The target demographic for this particular store is mainly middle and upper-class individuals from the Baby Boomer generation. Do you see where I am going?
My girls have both worked in the hospitality industry whilst studying and will say that many of the more challenging customers come from this “older generation.” They are rude, demanding, privileged and superior. They carry these traits like a trophy that they have been awarded for being “older.”
Hats off to my Baby Boomer compatriots who can still hold their frustrations in check, see their privilege as just that and treat everyone with dignity and respect. Let’s help make those signs disappear.
In a world where you can be anything – be kind!