Thursday, June 21, 2012

Don't Throw Etiquette Out the Window


This morning on the Today Show, I saw this video clip. If you haven't heard the story, it is about an older woman being taunted by school children on the bus she supervised. This video struck a cord with me and I immediately knew I wanted to blog on it today. To say this is shameful is kind. It is much worse than that. It is horrible when kids bully other kids. Yet, when it is the reverse, kids doing it to adults, wow. There aren't any levels of bad in my book. Bad is bad. This is more uncommon in today's observance of bullying. Where is respect and dignity in the world? Is there any left?
When people ask me what I do and I tell them I'm an etiquette instructor, I get several varied responses as I've mentioned before. Raised eyebrows, "I don't like people like you," or, smiles, and, "That is so wonderful." It's a good thing I don't care when people chide, "Oh, must I put my pinky this way?" I don't care because it validates me when I see videos like this. It may seem somewhat unusual that I went to school to teach people how to act. It's something that many just assume they know, more of an "I don't need that," kind of thing. I don't want to sound uppity, that's definitely not my purpose whatsoever. I know there is room for my improvement, I'm reminded of it as I constantly make mistakes.
My overall take on this video is a little rant on society today. Now, I don't have kids, so I'm not commenting on that, either. What I am bothered by more than anything is people's lack of response. You put it out there, be prepared to pay. We aren't walking mummies in the Thriller video, although, sometimes, I wonder. We've become so politically correct we cannot see the clear cut. Where was the bus driver? Where were other kids to stop and say no? Stop the diverting, please!! What has made us all so afraid of, "No?" When we see something wrong, we must respond. "What will they do to me if I do something?" How about, "I don't care, I'll take care of it?" Assertiveness is the key to this success. Maybe that assertiveness doesn't come in the exact moment. Maybe it comes at a private time, when more appropriate. Depending on the situation, the main point is handling it, and handling it well. When we witness a person run through a red light and strike another car, we stop and file a report. We don't scurry away swooping our cars around like Mario Cart. Why should we let the person texting and driving get away with the accident? Who knows if our statement will be a key to the fault of the wreck? We don't have anywhere to be compared to the current situation. The fear of doing the right thing is overwhelming us. I'm definitely interested in what will come of this in the media. God bless this woman for her control. Look what happens when you strike while the iron is hot. You wind up on the Today Show in what I'm sure will be a trending topic for days. Experience is life's greatest teacher.

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