Two things happened to me this week that got me thinking about how rude and impolite some people can be.
The first incident was at toddler group. The toddler group we go to is held in a church, the space where the children play is shaped like an upside down T, there is a bit to each side and a bigger bit in the middle. If you are sitting in the pews, which is where most of us mums congregate to drink our coffee and chat, you can see the whole area and can observe your child from afar wherever they may decide to wander. If you happen to sit elsewhere there are areas you just can't see.
Now my two were playing on the slide and soft play stuff at one side, they were playing nicely with a couple of other children taking it in turns on the slide as fast as is humanly possible and having a wail of a time. A little girl (who looked about the same age as Little 2) had been playing near them when another child gave her a shove and she started crying. Most of the parents in the area looked up checking it wasn't their child and then ignored the poor thing. She stood there balling her eyes out and everyone carried on talking, I scanned the room and spotted her mum (in the middle bit at the end) feeding her baby and deep in conversation with someone, she obviously couldn't hear her daughter nor see her (she obviously wasn't keeping an eye on her) so I thought I would help the poor soul out and take her to her mum. By the time I got there she had been crying for at least a minute and a half and was in full on screaming mode. I led her to her mum who didn't notice until she couldn't hear her friend talking over the screaming child stood right in front of her.
'What happened' she said
'She's fine, she just got pushed by another child' I replied
At that point she turned and immediately carried on talking to her friend, no Thanks, no smile, nothing. I was obviously dismissed and felt like a bit of a wally left standing there and retreated back to my pew.
The second incident was later that day when we were walking home along the pavement. I have a buggy and a four year old so take up a good two thirds of the path, a young man was coming towards us with a bag of shopping, in between us on the side of the path was a lamp post meaning one of us was going to have to giveway to the other. We reached the lamp post before he did but instead of waiting a whole 3 seconds for us to pass he sped up and squeezed through the gap bashing Little 1 with his bag while muttering something about mums and pushchairs thinking they owned the path.
Now I must admit I am usually a wimp and would just mutter something to myself quietly or say 'he was a bit rude wasn't he' to Little 1 once he was out of earshot but this time I went into protective Mummy mode and had to open my mouth without thinking and say 'Don't say sorry to her then', I won't repeat the two words I got in reply!
These two incidents got me thinking about how there seem to be two types of people about at the moment, those who are polite and courteous and those who are just plain rude.
I was brought up to say Please and Thank You as a child, my parents were polite and courteous and the same was expected of me, I learnt through example and accepted it as the norm as I grew up. I am one of those people whom I would deem as fairly polite. I give way to others, apologise if I bump into someone and even say sorry when there really isn't any need to but it just seems polite to do so like if I reach for something at the same time as someone else in the supermarket.
Daddy and I have taught our children to say Please and Thank You, and hope they are learning from us as we did from our parents, how to interact and be polite to others. Little 2 spends all her time with me at home so I am her main role model, she nearly always says 'Thank You' and 'Bless you' and often 'sorry' for bumping in to me or vice versa so I think we are doing a good job, although like any other 2 year old she does not like to apologise to her big sister without much prompting!
It doesn't take much to be polite to someone, a couple of words of thanks, a smile, wave or a nod but there seems to be a remarkable number of people around at the moment who just can't be bothered. Now don't get me wrong there are a lot of polite people around too just a lot less than there used to be, I think.
Is it something to do with this new culture of keeping to one's self and not talking to others/strangers. We don't tend to pass the time of day with people like we once did, (that makes me sound old, doesn't it!!) could that be it? Are we scared to say anything to anyone else in case we offend them?
So what do you think? Is it just me or do there seem to be 2 types of people these days?