Being a college student has given me plenty of opportunity to understand people and their habits. That being said, I’m here to say that we as a society are in trouble. People seem to have totally thrown all manners out the window when it comes to everyday interactions. I see it all the time on campus. People can be really rude for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Because of this, I have compiled a list of the top five manners people have forgotten, as well as the correct behavior that should be used.
1. Holding the Door Open
This one drives me crazy—I’ll be walking into a building behind someone and they can’t be bothered to hold the door. It ends up shutting in my face. Or, my favorite, people will open the door wide enough so they can just slip inside. And slamming the door open really hard so it swings wide doesn’t count. That door closes just as fast as it shuts. It isn’t hard to stop for a moment and hold the door for someone. It’s a small yet simple gesture that goes a long way. Bonus points if you hold the door for someone who might be a little further behind you.
2. Saying Please and Thank You
If you go somewhere and someone does something nice for you, make sure to thank them. They didn’t have to do it, but they did out of the kindness of their heart. Or, if you go to a store, make sure to thank the sales person. I know from personal experience working in retail, it always made me smile to hear a “thank you” from a customer. It makes me sad to think that more and more people feel they are entitled to be serviced and don’t need to be polite to those who are helping. Saying “please” is a big one as well. It’s an easy and effective way to demonstrate politeness.
3. Playing Music Through Earbuds
Music is a big part of mainstream society. I know that I love music with everything in me. But I wear earbuds out in public because it’s a common courtesy. More and more people are buying backpacks with speakers built into them, or carrying a portable speaker around to blare their music. Nine times out of 10 the music they play isn’t the kind that everyone likes. It’s plain obnoxious. If I were to do that, I know I’d get told to shut my music off because people don’t like it. Please just wear earbuds. In addition to being irritating, it’s incredibly distracting to have someone walk by with music blasting and turn and look to see who it is.
4. Cleaning Up After Yourself
Whether it be food, a project, or whatever, please clean up your mess. Littering is an increasingly big problem in the world. Don’t leave your garbage out because you were too lazy to walk five feet to the garbage. If a garbage isn’t easily accessible, hold on to whatever you’re throwing out until you can find one. Our planet shouldn’t have to pay the price of your laziness. Also, littering is a crime that could end with you paying a fine. Is your laziness worth having to pay a huge fine? I don’t think so. Just pick up your garbage, and our planet will love you for it.
5. Treating Others the Way You Want to Be Treated
Whenever I heard a teacher ask a student in school, “How would you like it if someone treated you like that?” the response was usually, “I wouldn’t care.” But I guarantee they’re really thinking they wouldn’t like it. It’s just a smart-ass answer they come up with to cover up being a bully. Both kids and adults can be bullies. It’s sad to think bullying doesn’t stop once someone graduates high school. But it’s true. We need to work more towards treating others with the same respect and kindness we would want in return. The amazing thing about kindness and love is that it’s free. It costs nothing to be kind. You waste no physical or mental energy treating someone kindly. I think if we all thought about this for one second, the world would be a little nicer. And sometimes we have off days where we want to snap at everyone and want to be a little mean. But if you keep telling yourself it’s an off day and you’ll try tomorrow, you’ll keep up that vicious cycle until it’s too late. Be a better person. Be kind.