The Loss of Common Courtesies

It has struck me on several occasions lately that kids today (and I must include my own generation in this) are missing a few of Emily Post’s finer points.

Perhaps more than just a few.

I must confess that I have never actually read Ms. Post, and I’m pretty sure these points are not listed in her book.  But, if she were alive today, I believe that she would add them.

Here goes:

Stop (and Pray) for Funeral Processions

OK.  This one is just sad.  I am positively shocked when a funeral procession drives past and all the other cars just keep rollin’ on.  Are we seriously so busy these days that we can’t show our respect for the deceased by pulling to the side of the road and waiting for a funeral procession to go by?  Better yet, offer up a prayer as they drive past for the comfort of the family and the eternal rest of the departed soul.

Babysitters: Leaving Things Better than You Found Them

Before I started babysitting, my mother drilled it into my head that I should always leave my employers’ home looking better than I found it.  This meant that if the basement was covered in toys when I arrived, I picked them all up before I left.  If the sink was full of dirty dishes when the mom left, it was empty when she got home.  And certainly anything that I used or dirtied during my stay was cleaned, picked up and put away.  This, of course, included the children’s dishes, toys, clothes, etc.

Unfortunately, today’s generation of babysitters do not appear to have been taught this rule by their mothers.  Thus, my generation of moms must suffer through with babysitters who happily flounce out of our doors, our money in their fists, as we turn our exhausted eyes to yet another sink full of dirty dishes that we didn’t even create, all the while wondering why we are paying these girls five times what we were once paid, to do so much less.

Moms, let’s do better for the next generation of mothers.  Let’s teach our sons and daughters to adhere to the principles and work ethics which our own mothers taught us!

Attending Funerals or Visitations

Sorry to get back on the funeral topic again, but in the past few years I’ve attended a few funerals for friends whose parents have passed away.  I’ve been shocked at the lack of my contemporaries among the mourners.  In fact, in one case, I know for a fact that I was the only friend of the grieving daughter that actually bothered to show up.

I know we’re all busy, and I know that none of us like to attend a funeral.  I know that it’s awkward attending a funeral for a person that you don’t even know.  I know that we have kids, and have to find childcare for them in order to go to a solemn event.

I also know that the presence of a friend – someone who is simply there to show their love and support for you in your grief – means more in that moment to a grieving person than a thousand well wishes and promises of prayer.

So, next time someone you know loses a loved one, even if that person isn’t your BFF, and even if you’ve never met their loved one, err on the side of doing too much rather than too little.  You’ll be glad you did, and so will your friend.


Which ones am I missing?  Probably ones that I, myself, violate on a regular basis.  Please do me the favor of bringing them to my attention by leaving a comment


2 comments on “The Loss of Common Courtesies
  1. Dana Lashley says:

    Opening doors for women, and helping people get wheelchairs in/out of a car. It’s not so bad when I have Sami to help with doors, but I have before struggled with getting the wheelchair into somewhere, and watched people watching instead of helping.

  2. Stephanie Hanouw says:

    Picking up something so obvious on the ground that there is no way a sighted person could have missed seeing it. Why leave it for someone else. Also goes for the clothes that one (I) cause to fall off the rack while I am speeding through the clothes. Deep sigh. I agree with the ones you have listed as well. It seems it is the age of entitlement!

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