The Death of Common Courtesy

Whatever happened to The Golden Rule? "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Do you remember that one? I do. I haven't spent my entire life paying attention to it, of course, but I try. At least I try.

I've been noticing politeness lately. I think part of that reason is that I don't get it at home much at all. I'm almost hyper-aware when someone compliments me or says something nice out of the blue. Even though I don't care for the day job, when my boss tells me I did something well, it really makes my day. When someone tells me they liked my writing, even if it's on a rejection letter, that makes my week.

What's so difficult about being polite? I live with a person who seems to think it is his right to insult everyone, including me, badmouth every ethnic group in town, and hold fast to stereotypes that--whether or not they are true or false--do not encompass every person in that particular group.

Is it inferiority? Does he feel threatened by one group or the other? Are any of his concerns actually valid? To him, sure. To me, no.

If I preach anything, it's tolerance. I stood at the bottom of the clique chain in HS, but I was friends with people all the way up to the top. One of my best friends was overweight. One of my buddies in middle school was gay. Hell, I'm overweight myself, so I can't talk.

Tolerance. Common Courtesy.

The people you interact with each and every day might not have the same moral values as you, but that doesn't mean you're better than them. Something you find funny might be insulting to someone eelse. Does that make it bad? No, not necessarily, but if a friend of yours told a joke that you found insulting, how would you feel?

If you go through life thinking you're better than everyone else around you, what will happen when you finally realize you're just the same as everyone else?

I just don't understand where he's coming from, I guess. Last night while we were out, we went to Ruby Tuesdays for supper (never again, at least not what I ended up eating.) We get out of the truck, walk to the front door, and I notice this woman slide into a booth near the front window. I noticed the fact that her glasses were like Mom's, and they changed into sunglasses in the sunlight. And they were still dark. And I thought, "I should look into getting those next time, and then I wouldn't have to worry about clip-ons."

Chris says, "She's too ****ing fat to get out of the house! How'd she get here?"

And I thought to myself, "You're no one to talk."

He's done the "If you're gay, you're going to burn in Hell" thing too. "It says in the bible that homosexuality is a sin."

My response, "It says in the bible that 'thou shalt not suffer a witch to live', too."

Chris: "Yeah, well..."

I guess I just don't get it. It's like... he's being like the people who used to come up and tell me I was going to burn in hell for reading fantasy. Trying to foist their beliefs onto me. They are entitled to their beliefs, in my mind, but they aren't entitled to push them into my face.

I'd never be a good roadside preacher, I tell you. I'd be like, "Believe what you want! Go ahead and believe! No one really knows who has the right doctrine anyway! And God probably doesn't care!"

I really do try. I believe that most people are good people deep down inside. I believe that if you judge someone else, remember that they are also judging you in return. I believe in politeness, but also know when to get nasty. (With bills, especially.)

Is it so difficult to be polite to other people? To smile when you're on the phone? To pay attention to your family? To not constantly criticize, put down, or insult others?

I really can't comprehend why he does it. I honestly can't. It's alien to me. Anyone care to enlighten me?

(Geez, this seems like it has rambled.)


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