Buggies and Behaviors

Image © Pam Roth via stock.xchng

The other evening I had to do some grocery shopping. So…I trudged off to Pea Ridge (the location of our nearest Walmart super store). I zipped through the store (if you can call an old lady’s creaky, slow gait a “zip”), gathered the items on my list and headed for checkout.

Shortly, I was on my way across the parking lot to my car…but…I had to stop and move an empty buggy (I’m a Southerner…we call those grocery store conveyances “buggies,” not carts). It had been left next to my car and kept me from opening the door to put my groceries in.

While I was doing that, a young lady came barreling out of the store and up to the vehicle that was nose-to-nose with mine, pushing a buggy that had two bags in it. She put the bags in her vehicle, left the buggy where it stood, and climbed into her front seat. She pulled down her visor mirror and proceeded to put on make-up. And then she drove away.

Say what?

And I noticed: all around the parking lot there were clumps of buggies mingled among the cars. Granted, Walmart has employees whose job is to go from corral to corral to gather the buggies and bring them back inside the entry way for the use of the next shoppers. But I suspect their task would probably be faster and smoother if they didn’t have to meander between vehicles, find and recover all the stray buggies. Besides, it’s only polite (and only takes a few seconds) to take a buggy to the place provided for it when you’re done with it.

Anyway, I got the buggy someone had left by my car, put it with my own, and pushed them to the corral. And started thinking about some of the other ways we manifest a lack of consideration for others today…

I was told by a younger person not long ago that she thought it was awful to expect folks to say “yes, ma’am,” “no, sir,” “please,” “thank you,” or otherwise display a respectful attitude to others. How many other behaviors designed to show respect and consideration for others have been discarded? And is there any way we can reclaim them?

What are your thoughts about showing respect to others?

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8 thoughts on “Buggies and Behaviors

  1. My husband and I were discussing this just the other night. Our oldest two children had a friend over for supper and we were both appalled by what we saw as the boy’s lack of manners. When we were growing up, which was not so very long ago as my husband is 34 and I’m 28, we were taught to address adults as Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So; to say please, thank you, and excuse me, etc.; and to be as polite as possible at all times. Heaven help you if you weren’t. My husband was therefore shocked when our son’s friend greeted him by saying, “What up, Greg?” before lifting one leg and farting, then walking back into the dining room and letting loose a rather loud belch.

    Both of us are hesitant to correct another’s child, but we’ve raised our children as we were raised and after the boy went home, they were both given to understand that they had better not act like that. I would be mortified to find out they had. I think the only way to reclaim behavior designed to show courtesy and respect for others is to begin teaching to our children. Sooner or later, people will tire of being treated poorly by others and will (I hope) resume teaching their children to treat others as they would like to be treated.

  2. Oh, Tommie, the shopping buggies in the parking lot is one of my biggest pet peeves. It doesn’t take much effort to put them in the corrals (I love that word for them!). I usually try to park near one of those corrals, so it’s even easier to put mine away.

    On the politeness front, having been raised in Texas, politeness was drilled into me. When I was in college, I had to make a police report because something of mine had gotten stolen (due to carelessness on my part). Later, when I got off the phone with someone from the police department, my roommate let me have it for saying “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am.” I was shocked. I told her that being polite was how a proper Texan behaved. (She was from New England and didn’t know any better, I assumed. I know now that there are plenty of polite people from that part of the country.)

    We teach our children to be polite. We also encourage them to do something kind for someone else or recognize when others are kind.

    • Good for you on teaching your children to be polite, Diana. It’s so encouraging to know I’m not the only one who’d love to have folks be more respectful and kind to one another.

      • Just people saying thank you and being grateful again, would help a lot. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to do stuff, send info, etc and maybe half don’t bother to say thank you or even say, yeah, i got it. Oh well, I am an oldie! LOL!

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