05:47:45 am on
Thursday 25 Jul 2024

Being Polite
Matt Seinberg


How hard is it to be nice and polite to other people? Are we always in such a rush that common courtesy goes out the window? One of my pet peeves is when simple politeness, given in normal circumstances.

I only decided to write this because of the stupid and crazy stuff I've witnessed this past week. It's amazing how people can be so rude and nasty when asked a simple question.

Cars have turn signals for a reason, which is to avoid accidents. How hard is it push that lever up or down to indicate the direction that you're going to go? The answer is, it's not! Don't make the other drivers on the road, behind you, guess what your next stupid move is going to be.

On my way to work this morning, there's a light with two turning lanes. The right lane is to get on to the parkway; the left is for the main road. This minivan mom in front of me in the right lane decides she needs to be in the left lane, without signaling, cuts across the lane in front of another driver.

How about this one: I'm on my home on the parkway and signaling left to get from the entrance ramp to the parkway. There's another car behind me signaling to go right to get on the other parkway. Instead of doing the smart thing and getting behind me, this moron speeds up and gets in front of me. At least he signaled. No guessing involved.

When you walk into a store and greeted, isn't the polite thing to say hello back, and acknowledge that greeting? Of course, it is, but the impolite people of the world will keep talking on their phones, or not even look at you. That happened several times to one of my female coworkers today, and she was extremely angry. Her temper was ready to explode. Luckily, she ignored this moron and moved on.

Our parents taught us the basics in politeness. At least mine did. Here are some rules to live by.

1) Always open a door for a woman or an older person.

2) Always say "Yes ma'am" or "No ma'am."

3) Never call your friends parents by their first names.

4) Be nice to your sibling(s).

5) Show respect to your elders, because they have earned it, and one day you'll be an elder too.

6) Never yell or make a scene in public.

7) Never, ever talk back to a teacher. They know a lot more than you do.

8) Never, ever talk back to your grandparents. They also know a lot more than you do.

9) Show proper respect to a girl on a first date, and be nice to her parents.

10) Never, ever talk back to us, your parents. We brought you into this world and we can take you out.

That's the life lesson for today. I've lived through them all, and have earned the respect of age to comment on all of them.


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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