Generational or Societal?

I’ve been thinking about this post for several months now.  I had contact with 2 different ‘gentlemen’ on the same day and it amazed me at how differently they reacted.

Contact #1 – I was at a stoplight – making a right turn on red.  Being by a school, I was extremely cautious – after checking the crosswalk, and looking both ways I started to move forward slowly to make my right turn.  Suddenly a ‘gentlemen’  (around 20-ish) on a bicycle came flying through the intersection – going the wrong way (he was riding northbound, in the southbound bike lane – or possibly on the sidewalk, I’m not sure).  I of course was in HIS way – so he threw is hand out (there may have been a finger involved) and called me a name that I will not repeat here.  This really irritated me because HE was in the wrong (riding in the wrong lane), yet he blamed me and called me names.

Contact #2 – was just a few hours later, I had stopped to grab some lunch and as I was leaving I had my head in my phone (I was clearly in the wrong!).  When I looked up, I realized I was in the way of an elderly gentleman coming into the door and immediately apologized and then stopped to make way for him.  He on the other hand, stopped and held the door for me and politely said – ‘No thanks, you go ahead.”

After the 1st incident, I was just bugged.  After the 2nd incident, all I could think about was why these 2 reacted differently.  My first thought was of course, the older gentleman was taught manners and was brought up in a much different time.  I also considered, socio-economic, ethnicity, even that the 1st guy was just late for work and really needed to get there.  But, you know – the only thing I can base my opinion on is the generational difference because I don’t know any of those other factors.

I’m glad we still have men & women in our lives who were brought up to be polite – even when some goofball is in their way because she’s looking at her phone.  I sure hope that I am able to instill these values in my boys – I know it’s a tough, long road given the societal attitude of not taking responsibility for your own actions.  But you can rest assured – I’m sure going to try!

Enjoy what’s left of your week!

~Gerri

 

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