Is it bad manners or ignorance? No, I am serious. How many of us have the exact upbringing as our neighbor? I was reared in the deep south on a soybean farm. Perhaps you were raised in a large city of Canada or Mexico. A local cultural tradition in New York might be totally wankered or unacceptable in Finland or England. It is the same in business or in religous sects for what is common tradition or practice in one company/sect might be abhorrent in another. Our world is no longer separate and distant. We are neighbors and brothers. Surely as an educated global people we have come to this conclusion.
I will ask again, "Is it bad manners or ignorance?"
Even taking in the variables and comparisons mentioned above, what about the bad manners witnessed in our very own cities? How many times have you personally attempted to pull into traffic on a busy street or merge onto an interstate highway and found that other drivers blasted their horns or flipped you off? This is not an isolated occurrence; it is common practice around the world to show rudeness while driving. It seems that we often work under the assumption that we personally own the road or highway, no one else has the right to traverse our territory.
“Get over! Move out of my way! Are you crazy! Look at that idiot!” are all widely used expletives as we shake our fist at the offender. We assume that he does not have the same rights we do. When we need to merge or pull into on-flowing traffic, we again scream at those who are inconsiderate and refuse to yield the highway. We become aggressive and belligerent to even the innocents driving along beside us.
It is not just aggressive drivers. It seems that everyone turns into a different person once they are seat-belted behind the wheel of an automobile. I might just as easily say that we can all become an "ass" once we take the wheel of our vehicle. Even my mild-mannered mother became antagonistic while driving her 1969 LTD, God rest her soul.
One might be inclined to ask, “Are we ignorant to this phenomenon? Do we observe this behavior in others but fail to see it in ourselves?” To answer that question it is my opinion that we use an actual yardstick, also known as a three-foot ruler, to measure our own behavior but when we measure another persons actions the yardstick has grown to five or six feet. We fail to remember that a yardstick is always three feet no matter where or when you use it. When the yardstick’s measurement changes as we apply it to another’s actions and behaviors, it maintains the illusion that we are isolated and separate from them. We do not see ourselves as connected to others all around the world. It is not stupidity or the inability to learn, it is ignorance. Ignorance is failure to see.
It is time that we all begin to “see” that everything we do is connected. My bad manners can ruin your day. Your bad manners can force another driver off the road causing serious injury to person or property. His bad manners can result in feelings of hate and mistrust.
What you and I do really does matter. Let’s get connected and see others as equals. Let's see that we all share the same traits and that we could all use a little work on our manners.