The other day I took the bus down town. At the next stop an old lady grabbed the handle at the door and yelled to the driver if it made a certain stop. After he yelled back to affirm, she – with great difficulty – pulled herself in. There weren’t many people in the bus during that time of day. Two twin girls had taken up two seats in the front of the bus (you know, the ones that are usually assigned to people who need them the most) and their mother was sitting next to them across the aisle. I looked around and the people commuting weren’t really old. At least not as old as this lady.
She was obviously in pain from something. You could see it in her facial expression that she needed to sit down, as she was already panting from the effort to catch the bus and then actually get on it.
She looked around and I observed.
No-one seemed to care.
No-one, not even one person – anyone – even thought of giving up their seat for this woman. (I was standing, so I couldn’t really help).
You could see she was boiling inside, looking at the twin little girls who were carefreely staring out their window, and then their mother who didn’t really seem concerned about anything other than when they would reach their stop.
The women sitting next to the mother then got up to get off at the next stop and the old lady tried to squeeze in to sit in the inner side of the seat as the mother had not budged. The old lady resorted to clearly stating that she wants to sit down because her foot is hurting, and only then did the mother get up to let her sit.
I am left wondering, are there no manners anymore? Savoir-vivre and savoir-faire are obviously non-existent, and the only thing left is the savoir-moi.
We live in a society where everyone only cares about themselves. Where the mentality of “as long as I’m ok, I don’t care about anyone else” reigns. Where giving up your seat for someone who obviously needs it more than you should be a given. But it’s not. (And let’s not even talk about the example the parents give their children…)
Where the words ‘excuse me’ and ‘thank you’ are no longer part of our vocabulary, but instead they have given way to ‘what’, and all the swear words you can imagine.
Rudeness is such a part of our everyday lives that people have stopped paying attention to or being bothered by exactly how….rude it all is.
Walking on the sidewalk and trying to overpass people who are trailing along at snail’s pace, talking on the phone, while at the same time puffing chimney-loads of smoke back at your face. Trying to quickly insert all your shopping in the plastic bags at the end of the counter, so you have time to pay the bill without having to gather remaining items, when the next customer pushes his/her way over to your side and is literally breathing down your neck. Reaching a bus stop and realizing there is a person there taking up the entire bench, having comfortably adjusted themselves in the very middle of the seat with all their belongings on either side. There are numerous more examples of how everyone tries to make everything easier for themselves, without caring how much more difficult things become for everyone else.
There is no ‘we’ in our lives anymore. Only an ‘I’ which comes first.