All this because of a phone call

This blog was going to start something like this: It’s not my imagination, society is becoming more apathetic. I was going to write about how socially lethargic we’ve become, how common courtesy is about as common as common sense (not very), and that respect is a sentimental notion to be found only in fiction. Then I got a phone call that has made me rethink that statement. The details of the phone call are unimportant; suffice it to say that while the purpose of the call was not altruistic, it was surprisingly considerate and helpful. It was not a grand gesture, but significant enough for me to reassess my feelings about society, or at least a small portion of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe we live in an increasingly mercurial society, whose collective attention span mimics that of a gnat, where patience and tolerance are things many feel entitled to but are seldom willing to exercise themselves, and that most especially we live in a society without community. To keep myself from becoming bitter, I remind myself that society is made up of a number of communities and that those communities are made up of individuals. I acknowledge that there are people, outliers, willing to put aside their own motives for one second to consider a neighbour, a customer, or a total stranger. I’ll remember and honour the ones I’ve met in my travels. All this because of a phone call.


About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in Humanity, JOURNAL ENTRY and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to All this because of a phone call

  1. Debbi says:

    What a wonderful, thought-provoking post! It is heartening, though, that there are still glimmers of hope for humanity.

    I live in the United States of the Offended, and common courtesy seems to be in very short supply, to say nothing of proper manners. I suspect quite a few of the problems arise because of the mistaken assumption that once you have produced children, your job is done. Many young parents don’t seem to realize that parenting is hard work — forever! You must guide and teach and correct and console. If children are taught manners, they will be better people, and the world would be a better place. Probably, it all comes down to lack of time due to both parents having to work simply to keep up these days (although we have far more than our parents did, it never seems to be enough!).

    • Sharon says:

      Yippy, Debbi! It’s so good to find people who are of the same mind as me regarding manners. Manners are really important in my family. My siblings and cousins and I often say that was one of the best things our mothers taught us and I will pass that on to my daughter.

      I visited the US for 3 months a few years ago and my experience was mixed. I found that New Yorkers were the most well-mannered, polite people, whereas people in another Big East city, which shall remain unnamed, were the complete opposite, they were rude and impatient – in fact my uncle had visited the same city 20 years earlier and said the same thing. I was very fond of people in Dublin and Thailand, though I suspect it’s different if you’re a local.

      Australia has had a reputation in the past as being an easy-going nation. That’s changed in the last ten years and now people seem to have entitlement issues – ie, ‘I am entitled to receive respect and equally entitled to give you none in return’. Many Australians have now become seekers of instant gratification and the cost to the environment and society is irrelevant.

  2. drtombibey says:

    Make it one phone call and a comment, Sharon. Your readers find Australia must be a good place ’cause of blogs like yours.

    Dr. B

    • Sharon says:

      Australia is a good place, Dr B. Like anywhere in the world, it is what you make of it. I’ve traveled a bit and found good people all over the world, but I find increasingly that unless the interaction is personal or beneficial, some people are just unable or unwilling to be courteous. Chivalry isn’t dead, but it is unwell. I will continue to exercise what my mother taught me and what I know in my heart to be right: approach every situation with dignity and grace, and respect everyone, even those you secretly suspect don’t deserve it.

      I know you understand this, Dr B, because I’ve seen you exercise it every time you blog.

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