Salisbury Press

Friday, January 24, 2020

Respectully Yours: Doors of kindness

Friday, November 9, 2018 by JACQUELYN YOUST Special to The Press in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Why do some people not say, “Excuse me.” or “I beg your pardon?” When I am standing in line in a supermarket or drugstore, someone will rush ahead of me to ask the clerk a question. They never say, “Excuse me.” When I go to the bank or restaurant, some people never hold the door for other folks. What is going on with this world?

Dear Reader, Phrases go in and out of style and very few people say, “Excuse me” anymore. It appears many have lost a general sense of respect toward each other and consideration is becoming extinct.

In some arenas, we notice people that are disengaged and avoiding meaningful human interaction. They have lost a general sense of respect for others and are seemingly less interested in being a part of a community. To sum it up, they have a general lack of consideration for others.

In the world we live in, where common courtesy has fallen out of favor, you will encounter one of two types of people: Those who have the decency to acknowledge you and those too busy or self-absorbed to notice the people around them.

Occasionally, you will be the unlucky recipient of the miserable person that says, “Excuse me” in a tone that means “Get out of my way.” Take the high road and carry on.

I encourage you to continue to set an example. When you try to walk around someone, continue to say, “Excuse me” or “Pardon me.” In addition to just saying words, make eye contact and disarm with a smile.

Hopefully, your actions will be a gentle reminder to anyone within earshot that this is how you are supposed to act. It’s my sincere wish that the more we continue to use good manners, it will be less of a stand-out, rare occurrence.

To everyone who will walk through a door today, look behind you to make sure there is no one coming along for whom you can hold the door. That’s just how it’s done.

I sincerely hope we can get back to a place of general respect where we live more by The Golden Rule. Lead by example. Say please, thank you, have a nice day, and hold doors for people. Kindness goes far, even if it only makes one person smile.

Respectfully Yours, Jacquelyn

Have a question? Email: Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training. She is on the board of directors of the National Civility Foundation. All Rights Reserved © 2018 Jacquelyn Youst