Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?
jsquires and williamhj,
I have to agree with you both, in that the questioning of changing behavior has long been the bane of any and all past generations. Lately, however, I think that the proverbial envelope has been pushed by the growing disregard for the once-expected "pleasantries," if you will. Why? Because it's become too commonplace in today's society.
Mine was perhaps the last generation with a genuine fear of "the woodshed." It took me but one trip to said "woodshed" to learn that there were "rules," codes of conduct, if you will, that were not only expected, but required!! I violated one of those rules-- I took one of my grandfather's shotguns out for an afternoon of bird hunting without permission --and I paid the price. My backside smarted for a couple of days, but this painful and deserved lesson stayed first and foremost in my mind, and helped establish my appreciation for said rules.
Now, before you get it in your head that my grandfather was an abusive man, he was anything but-- a gentle soul who wanted nothing but the best for his first-born grandson and set out to instill it in the best ways that he knew how. He came from the long line of Scot/Irish farmers and craftsmen, men who carved out a tough living amidst the often-inhospitable areas of the West Virginia "hill country," and his upbringing shaped who he was. He wished only the same for me, and set in place the building blocks of "respect, responsibility and regard for others." Opening doors and using words like "Sir" or "Ma'am" weren't an option... they were expected as part of my overall conduct. He also taught me that hard work really wouldn't kill me!!! And for those early lessons, I thank my grandparents.
As has been pointed out, some of these "courtesies" declines may be linked to the anonymity of living behind a computer monitor. Now, don't get me wrong... I'm a BIG fan of today's technology, in that it's made my job a whole lot easier. But, when some websites allow a man or woman to remain anonymous and still spout "virtual venom" whenever and wherever he/she pleases without fear of repercussions, it begins to become a trait of everyday life. Some of the things that I've read-- and a few hurled my way --would never be said on an old porch after supper, and especially not in a face-to-face situation! But, give those same people an on-line soapbox, and I'm sure that many of you have seen what can come out of someone's mouth! And, not in the best light possible...
I won't "preach to the choir," so to speak, and tell you that my generation was/is the best at adherring to ways now considered a bit out-of-step. That would be too broad a generalization. But, even in today's world of "multi-tasking and too few hours to spare," it only takes a moment to hold a door, help a neighbor, or merely acknowledge one's respect with an occasional "Sir" or "Ma'am." After all, what could it hurt???