I know we are a dwindling breed, but opening doors for ladies, giving up our seats on public transport and walking on the outside when accompanying a member of the opposite sex down the street – are all still as natural as breathing to many men of my generation. I would probably even tip my hat if I wore one.
After all it’s not quantum physics, and it takes no effort to be polite and courteous to all of those that we meet, and persevering even when faced with a dark uncomprehending stare.
And what an improved world we would live in if we always smiled and perhaps greeted passing strangers with a Good Morning or Buenos Dias. I would like to think that repeated efforts would reap rewards in the long run and it’s a sour mannered, bad assed individual indeed, who can hold out against such a determined assault.
But it is dispiriting when a door is held for a lady and she simply barges through without a thank you, a nod, or a kiss my derrière – an occurrence that happens with depressing regularity here in Spain.
Manners are a two way thoroughfare and appreciation from the recipient is a heart warming incentive to go on carrying out these simple but important observances.
Why standards have plunged over the last two generations is beyond me. Perhaps it’s a cyclical thing – a passing phase – and as has so often happened in other areas throughout history, perhaps there will be a resurgence in the other direction at some point in the future. I certainly hope so, but I am not overly optimistic.
But for those of us like-minded individuals, let’s make that extra effort to maintain these standards and keep doing what we know to be good practice.
It’s all too easy to mentally shrug and think ‘Why should I bother.’ Let’s grin and bear it when we receive grunts or blankness for our efforts, and stick faithfully to our guns in the hope that our smiley persistence will pay off.