This is something I have been thinking about for a while now, especially since this pandemic started. But after last week event that happens to me, it has been more on the forefront of my mind more than ever.
Last week I went out to do some shopping, you know the drill, getting a few bits and bobs. Got to the checkout and as always exchange a few pleasantly to the cashier, you know, ‘hi, how are you?’, ‘when are you clocking off?’, that kind of thing. Perhaps she was having a bad day or whatever, but the cashier turned round to me and asked quite simple, ‘are you pregnant?’. Really, you are asking a stranger that question. I replied, no I’m just fat, paid my stuff and stormed off.
On another day went to do my food shop, Richard, and I kind of have arrangement where we take a turn doing the shopping, especially as most supermarkets is only letting one person per household in. Anyway, got to the end of the shopping and went to the checkout. Perhaps this was another cashier who was having a bad day, but she was not responding to my pleasantry small talk, and she was thrashing my shopping down the till ramp, no regard to what they were. It left me quite angry and frustrated. Once I got home, I told Richard that he can do the food shop for now on.
Both examples can be put down, someone having a bad day. But this has become more frequent as this pandemic wore on. Manners and universal respect for each other has gone out of the window. For shop workers, I know things are tough, and I really respect that – especially as I have been in that situation before. Its why I didn’t file a complaint to those two shop workers as I don’t want to cause any troubles or any fuss.
I have read news reports of people queuing to go inside a shop and for fights to break out as someone in not acknowledging the social distancing rule.
I see this whenever I go out; everyone is so tense with everyone. There seems to be a growing atmosphere of anxious static energy. Everyone is so afraid of each other that somehow basic manners and respect for everyone has gone out of the window. In replace are anger and fear.
As someone pointed out to me this weekend on Twitter, that manners cost nothing, then why are people not acknowledging it? If we forgo something as necessary as our manners, then in replacement is fear and anger, which is not how society should live. What else will there be?
When Caroline Flack died, the ‘be kind’ motto was said loudly, with everyone promises to make an effort to be kind. Only for a few short months, it has now gone out of the window, and people are not making that effort. Which is kind of sad as during this difficult time, shouldn’t we make an effort to be kinder, more so than usual?
My worry that once things do goes back to normal, there will still be a lot of resentment and fear with each other. I worry that it will take a long time for common decency to return.
But in the meantime, let start acknowledging good manners and to start being kind to one another. Let start doing this before we start tearing each other apart. Which is a scenario, no one wants?
Feel free to discuss your thoughts with me on Twitter.