On Manners Lost and Things Taken for Granted

Consideration. Have you thought much about that word lately? I sure have.

I remember a time when you let another driver skip in front of you, held the door for the person behind you, or did something extra special for someone you barely knew … and they appreciated it. And thanked you.

When did we all become so darn busy that we lost our manners and started taking the little things for granted? Now it’s all road rage, ‘roid rage, outrage! We may not know exactly what it is, but we’re sure as heck mad about something, and we’re going to take it out on every poor schmo who happens to get in our way.

Remember the ’80s? Everybody thought Japan was going to economically destroy the US, so we emulated the Japanese work mentality. We went from rocking around the clock to working around the clock. Suddenly, just driving a good car wasn’t enough. It had to be something eye-catching and jealousy-generating. We didn’t want to admit it, but we all wanted to be almost as ruthless as the guy in “American Psycho,” or the anti-hero in the short-lived TV series “Profit.” We all wanted to be Gordon Gekko from “Wall Street.” Maybe that’s when it all started.

Or maybe it goes back to the ’70s … first Vietnam, then the Arab oil embargo, and then the Iran Hostage Crisis. I remember a blustering Congressman warning Iran: “Beware an angry American!” Damn right, I thought. And we got angry. Then again, maybe it was Yoko Ono’s fault for breaking up the Beatles. Talk about making us angry!

Maybe it goes back to the ’60s … to the Bay of Pigs, to our grief over JFK, MLK, RFK and our anger at the unfairness of it all. Charles Manson. Maybe we buried our anger by numbing out through taking on more and more work.

Whenever it all started, we somehow lost the best part of ourselves … our innate consideration for each other. It’s time for us to remember that each of us does our best in everything … work, home life, friendships, business relationships … when we work together and care about each other. Just because we may do something day after day doesn’t mean we have to do it with apathy or lack of decency towards one another.

Aretha said it best: R E S P E C T!

Respect one another. Respect each other’s talents … feelings … humanity.

Grant Johnson

Johnson Direct LLC