Lets start off with a simple poll today, shall we?
If you answered ‘Say “excuse me.”‘ you’re not a savage. Stop reading here.
If you answered anything else, read on.
Most likely, if you’ve ever been the offender described above, self-preservation and the avoidance of shame won out over common courtesy.
You allowed others to suffer in silence and confusion, rather than providing them the solace of directing their anger towards your malodorous (and forthright) ass.
But imagine if we lived in a world where no one observed niceties.
Where you were left to fend for yourself.
No “Gesundheit” when you sneezed.
No “Good morning” when you entered a room.
No “May I help you?” when you walked into a store.
No “Excuse me” when someone bumped into you.
Imagine a world of savages.
Has anyone ever said “XYZPDQ” to you?
If so, you were eternally grateful for the intervention, I’m sure.
A response to an oft repeated faux pas by many, that’s what.
It’s the acronym for “examine your zipper pretty damn quick.”
In other words, your fly is down. Zip it up or risk further embarrassment.
To be accurate, it should be EYZPDQ, but it doesn’t quite flow off the tongue.
But that’s besides the point.
The point is that every once in a while, strangers behave in ways completely at odds with our disconnected society.
We’re a society of people who mind their own business and don’t care to intrude on the personal space of others.
Even if it means allowing them to suffer shame in silence.
Think about the last time someone told you you had food in your teeth.
Or that you needed a breath mint.
Or that your shoelace was untied.
Or your toddler was walking into traffic.
Okay, that last one was me. But I had four kids with me at the time and only two eyes.
We’re often surprised when acts of decency are shown to us.
The kindness of others shouldn’t surprise us in the least.
But they do.
Because we live in a world of selfish bastards. That’s why.
The concept of extending common courtesies, like holding a door, ceding the right of way, excusing ones self after a bodily emission, or a simple “thank you” after a kind act, are pleasantries long dead in today’s society.
Excluding yours truly, of course.
I’m the consummate gentlemen, raised by genteel parents, who understood the importance of being polite.
But the rest of you savages, would more likely cut someone for looking at you the wrong way, than ask “may I help you?”
I’m always struck by the way people respond to my acts of decency.
I recently gave up my seat on the PATH to an obviously pregnant woman.
You would have thought I’d opened up my chest, cut out one of my lungs, and implanted it in her open chest cavity saving her life, the ways cats were staring at your boy.
Seriously? Move on folks, nothing to see here.
It just goes to show you that the common courtesies and simple acts of decency we should take for granted are not that common.
So what’s our takeaway for today?
Don’t pass gas without excusing oneself?
Not quite, but close.
Always be courteous to others.
A simple act of kindness goes a long way.