We need Emily now more than ever

Lack of manners and courtesy result of 'need for speed'

My nose isn’t broken, thankfully.

It survived the door crashing into my face.

Now you could have spared me the angst, young man, if you had had the courtesy of holding the door open for me.

But somehow that just seems to be too much of an effort.

It seems common courtesy and good manners have gone the way of the dodo bird.

Has our need for speed in this world – which seems stuck in overdrive –trumped the need to be kind and respectful to each other?

And please don’t blame the youth of today. After all, who were their role models? Likely their parents who are driving on our highways exhibiting road rage.

One thing is certain. We are all going to die, but you would think a few seconds delay on that trajectory would be a good thing.

What is the big deal about letting someone in traffic move into the lane ahead of you?

“Go ahead, buddy,” I am thinking. “I am in no hurry to reach the pearly gates!”

“After you. After all, it is difficult having five lanes merge into one. I bet you have had a tough day!”

“Please, I insist, take that parking space as I can find another.”

Smile. Hand wave. Honk.

Is that asking too much?

And elevators. Could you not wait patiently until the occupants of said elevator exit first before you descend upon them?

The same goes for alighting a bus or the SkyTrain. Common sense says you keep your cool and let the passengers get off first before you get on.

And what about offering your seat to an elderly person or a pregnant woman? Or simply someone laden with parcels or with a look of exhaustion on their face?

Or fishing into your pocket for that elusive loonie to proffer to someone whose parking meter has expired?

It’s not rocket science.

A simple “please” or “thank you” would not go amiss.

Back in 1922, in a time when many believed that good manners were “necessarily elaborate,” Mrs. Emily Post was a pioneer in simplifying them.

She taught as the basis of all correct deportment that “no one should do anything that can either annoy or offend the sensibilities of others.”

Every edition of her book emphasized the basic rule of etiquette: “Make the other person comfortable.”

Her name became synonymous with good manners.

Today in the 21st century, we need you more than ever, Emily!

If you think good manners are non-existent in the real world, take a look at the realm of social media and instant messaging where pleasantries have been eliminated in favour of 140 character tweets.

Email etiquette. Abbreviated missives of communication reduced to the bare basics and devoid of nuance and niceties. Or no response at all.

And wait until you enter the minefield of online dating sites.

There should be a warning before logging on. Zoomers beware! Thick skins mandatory. Enter at your own peril.

It seems anonymity gives potential relationship seekers the mandate to be verbally abusive, rude and aloof if you aren’t totally receptive to their obnoxious and overblown overtures.

Rejection isn’t easily accepted as their “last word” dismissives and cutting comments will attest to.

And even when things appear to click, and you speak on the phone for hours and decide to meet in person, good manners go by the wayside as you are stood up!

It’s exhausting.

Let’s go shopping instead. You can carry my parcels and hold the doors open for me.

Please… and thank you.

April Lewis is the local communications director for CARP, a national group committed to a ‘New Vision of Aging for Canada.’ She writes monthly.


Just Posted

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Most Read