In today's society, the words "please and thank you" are not heard often. From a young age, I was always taught that these words were a sign of respect. Therefore, I am always surprised when I see how little they are used. To some people, "please and thank you" are something to be said only to your elders. I believe that everyone deserves to hear these words once in a while.
This problem is not just a generational issue, it is an issue within our entire culture. The attitude that "respect is earned not given" is not a negative one, but it is taken a bit too far. If a stranger holds open a door for you, the polite thing to do is say thank you. However, many people just walk through without saying a word.
I am unsure how we got to this point, but this issue has impacted our society at its core. It has given people a sense of entitlement and ungratefulness. If an act of kindness is done, people start to just expect it and do not express appreciation.
This in turn makes people less likely to take part in acts of kindness if they feel they are not appreciated. However, this is not to say that kindness should come with an expectation of anything in return.
Compassion should come from the goodness of someone's heart, not because they want to feel appreciated. With that being said, it can still take a toll on someone who does a lot for other people but never feels respect back.
Kindness and respect are not going to fix all of our nation's economic and political issues, but they can still go a long way.
Now, I'm sure this all sounds a little over-dramatic, but recently I have been noticing this issue in my day-to-day life. If I ask someone to borrow a pencil and then say thank you, sometimes they have a look of confusion on their face.
Fifty years ago, saying thank you was expected. Now, when it is rarely said, it is a bit of a shock.
The fact that showing a sign of gratefulness is surprising to people is a clear cause for concern. If we cannot be appreciative of the simple things in life, how are we ever going to be grateful for major things?
The issue of respect is also a major cause for alarm. In today's society, 15-year-olds see themselves as equals with their parents. This leads to behavioral problems as children think they can do as they please. Today's celebrity role models are often teenagers who make mistakes of their own.
When a teenager sees entitlement splashed across every area of the media, it is bound to rub off on them. Parents fail to see this taking place, let it occur, and the problem continues to grow.
From respect to gratefulness, from please to thank you, the lack of manners in our society is nearly an epidemic.
This is a problem that could easily be solved if we all took a few moments each day to sit back and think about all that we have. From acts as simple as holding open a door to giving someone comforting words, if these acts are not appreciated or reciprocated, they are unlikely to be repeated.
If everyone made the conscious decision to say please and thank you at least once or twice or day, I strongly believe that the world would be a much better place.