We, people, are too concerned about appearances. About what other people think. About how we may seem to others; the image we portray.
We are often more concerned about the impression we give, than about acting right and with integrity. We lose ourselves to please others, but, worse, to fit into social confinements.
There are certain ways of acting that we can realise on our own if they are right or not. No matter the norms of social behaviour, we can discern if it is acceptable to shout in public, to speak badly to service workers, to be rude to anyone. They are part of those things that frankly should be common sense.
But what most people fail to comprehend is that just because everyone does something doesn’t make it right or even acceptable.
Similarly, just because certain people act in a similar manner around everyone – e.g. flirting or being overly effusive – doesn’t make that behaviour acceptable or appropriate either.
There are some things we need to respect when it comes to friendships and social conduct. We need to take into account the people we have before us and adjust our manners accordingly.
But essentially, it is one single thing: don’t do unto others what you don’t want done to you. If you want to be respected, treat the people next to you with respect. It will elevate you much more than anything else you could say or do.
Remember, “right is right even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it” (St Augustine).