More Than Manners

Lindsay - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on March 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect

Every day that goes by, I spend my time people watching. I enjoy watching how people relate to one another, and I enjoy watching how they interact in all types of environments. I notice how boyfriends and girlfriends walk and talk, how friends joke or gossip about each other, how families argue or get along with each other, and how complete strangers relate to one another. As I watch all of these people, I notice many different personalities and habits that come along with them. The different personalities range from outgoing and indifferent to mean, nice, and boring. However, most of them are lacking in one area; respect and I believe that respect is one of the most important traits a person can have.

I cannot tell one example that triggered my feelings for the disrespect of people because there is not only one. My proof of disrespect comes from everyday occurrences. As far as I can tell, most of these people have manners. When someone opens a door for them, they say “thank you.” If someone burps at a lunch or dinner table, they will say “excuse me.” They lack in personal character.

I watch at lunch and find that friends are interrupting a friend who is telling a story so that they can make a joke or tell some story of their own. I go to practice and listen to the coach tell the team to do something one way and they would change it and do it differently. I overhear a group of girls bad mouthing one of their friends because of some small misunderstanding. I watch people cut in front of other people standing in a line somewhere or driving on a road. I sit in every one of my classes every single day and listen how a group of kids will be chatting while the teacher is teaching. Sometimes I wonder how the human race can be so inconsiderate.

Then, once in a blue moon, I witness a truly respectful moment with a truly respectful person. Like, the kid on the team that stands up to all of his teammates and tells them that they are wrong and need to listen to the coach. Then, the friend who really listens and if someone interrupts, they tell their friend to continue their story because they were talking first. These moments are my favorite because I can see the kindness and the respect that we are all capable of portraying.

I will not be a hypocrite. I have found myself guilty of talking about someone behind their back or cutting in front of someone in a line. One thing that makes me different is the fact that I have realized this and I try my hardest to be respectful to anyone that happens to cross my path. I just wish that people could truly treat other people the way they would want to be treated.