Where have all the polite people gone?

Think before you speak

Do you think that the concept of being polite is disappearing? I do!

A woman barging past on the street, a man shouting at others for banging into him as he leaves his arm hanging over the armrest on a train, the colleague who doesn’t apologise for keeping you waiting for 20 minutes and of course the constant barrage of name calling we have to listen to every time the news comes on.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not harking back to a better age, or Victorian Britain when we all knew our place and doffed our caps to show our respect to others. But I do think that more of us need to be mindful more often of the way we consider other people; treating others as we would like to be treated.

So, what does polite behaviour mean to me?

Well, if you knock into someone else saying a simple “Sorry” would be a start! But more than that, I would like to see more people considering the consequences of their behaviour.

If you put your feet on the seat opposite on the train then someone has to sit on a grubby seat. If you read your newspaper with your arms out your hand is going to be in the way of people passing by. And, I think most importantly, if you call someone names the hurt you cause can be long-term and impact in ways you can’t imagine.

The way you speak and what you say matters.

Name calling is a form of bullying and standing by as others do it doesn’t make us less culpable. I know I have been guilty of both slinging insults and standing by as others do.

So, I’m standing up now and saying we must “stop”!

We need to be aware of the phrases we use, what we say and its impact.

We need to stand up and tell others. Stop other adults from calling people names just as you might a child.

I hope some of our politicians are reading this as they have a stage from where their bullying phrases emit but every time we bite our lip, that is one less bullying statement out there and a world that is a little more polite.