Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Manners

The weather precludes a lot of travel these days.  I've had my first Iowa ice storm and blizzard. I did have the opportunity to turn a short trip into a long trip getting caught in white out conditions last weekend.  My oldest son's driving got us home safely; unfortunately many cars went off the road.  We could see their lights.  We couldn't even stop to help them, the worst part of all.

Manners have been on my mind, with some experiences I have had lately. Please and thank you are the first manners we teach our children. No singing at the table during meals, no elbows on the table, etc.  My husband and I met during a time when my husband automatically opened doors for me and taught my sons to do the same as they grew up.   My grandson, age 7, refuses to go through a door before me and smiles so proud each time he is able to hold the door for me.

We've all seen the ill-mannered child and I am not going to elaborate.

Taking grandchildren to school the other day, I stopped at a four-way stop with a car stopping a few seconds before me on the left.  He was leaving the middle school, heading to the high school.  He had a young man in the front passenger seat hunched over acting very cold.  He had on a sweatshirt with his head buried.  Nothing unusual in any of this.  I motioned for him to go forward.  As the car went past, the young man raised his head, looked at me, smiled and waved his thank you.  My entire day brightened.  I smiled each time I remembered the manners of this young man which appeared automatic for him. 

A couple of days later I'm in another town taking a couple of other grandchildren to school and I was again stopped at another stop sign.  This was a two-way stop and the through street had a long line of cars driving past. As I was waiting patiently wondering if I should turn around and try to find another route, a woman in a pickup truck stopped to let me go through. As I waved my thank you and received her wave in return, another quick act had brightened my entire day.  The temperature was -2 degrees, roads were snow-packed and our travel was very slow.  She made a split second decision that probably took less than a minute for me to pull out into traffic. 

Yesterday I was in another town at a store full of long lines waiting to check out.  I saw what I thought was a clerk opening up a new line, so I scooted out of my spot to get in the new line. I had taken a friend shopping and was in a hurry to get her home so I could pick up grandchildren from school.   It turns out the clerk was just standing at the register, not opening the line.  I sighed knowing I had lost my place in line. The woman behind me, motioned me back into my old space.  I said, "No, that's all right I got out of line."  She said "No, what type of person would I be if I did'nt let you back in the line."  I thanked her and told her that was very nice of her.  She said, "No I've just been well trained in manners."  

As I finish up my holiday shopping, with my mind on a hundred things and not being as focused as I should, I've been reminded by others how my actions can make the day brighter for a total stranger. 
I'm going to strive to being more conscious of those around me.  An act of kindness can take just a few extra seconds and can make many minutes worth of blessing for someone else. 

Thank you for reading my blog, have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your holiday festivities. 

1 comment:

Kay Theodoratus said...

Hope you carry a shovel in case you get stuck.