Radio Diaries: Civility

Apr 28, 2017

When I was growing up, my mother always wore a dress—a housedress for housework and something nicer when she went out.  Women wore hats, too, and so did men—hats with brims that they took off indoors.

Things were different for children, too.  When adults came into the room, we were expected to stand up.  And we addressed them as Mr and Mrs, not by their first names.

Another formality—strictly enforced in my home—was writing thank you notes.  Even before I could write, I learned to print the words “thank you.”

Well, the world is a different place today—vastly more informal—and I’m grateful for much of it.  I like wearing pants but I miss receiving thank you notes.

Not only as an expression of gratitude but of acknowledgement.  Thank you for the gift—and even more—for the connection we share.  It seems as if common courtesy isn’t so common anymore.

Because it’s not just about manners.  It’s about respect.  Respect for self and respect for others—which is the foundation of a functioning society.  We can agree to disagree—but only if we’re talking to each other—and also listening.

Reminding ourselves that we’re all just muddling through our days, our lives.

Please.  Thank you.  You’re welcome.