3/14/11

Teaching Kindness, Common Courtesy, and Chivalry

How hard is it to be nice?


 Last week, I read this post by Crissy regarding common courtesy, or the apparent lack there of.

In it, she is specific about courtesies that should be extended to pregnant women. Here is my comment on her post:





OH wow. You have touched on one of my major pet peeves.
There does seem to be an extinction in terms of common courtesy, not just for pregnant women, but EVERYWHERE.
And, hello? I live in the South. It’s supposed to be all about the Southern Hospitality and what-have-you.

I have three kids. Two of which are boys. While I am trying to teach the girl (practically a woman) about equality for women, I am also trying to instill a sense of chivalry in my boys. The bottom line for all three is that you have to give respect to get it. So we are all about the niceties…giving up a seat for a lady/adult, holding the door for those walking behind, please, thank you, sir and ma’am.

Great post. I hope everyone reads this.

Maybe it is mostly women that are noticing a lack of courtesies given that all the commenters had basically the same thing to say.

(I would like to add that Crissy commented directly to me stating that her husband is deeply chivalrous. So, the men know. This just underlines the fact that chivalry is NOT dead.

Yesterday, I went to a local walk-in-only hair salon (and I use the term "salon" loosely) to get haircuts. It was packed as apparently the warm weather forces everyone to decide grooming needs to be taken care immediately.

Of course the warm weather wasn't our reasoning rather than I had simply procrastinated. If I have learned nothing else, all other hair-related services will be taken care of when the weather is the worst.
Chivalry is NOT dead!

In this particular location, there are only nine chairs available in the waiting area. Once the three of us sat down, only one chair remained. It wasn't a minute before a woman and her three daughters walked in. So, in trying to teach a lesson, I asked my boys to move to another area to stand.

The elder looked at me like I was crazy.

(Clearly, I have been doing a good job)

After they moved, I told the mother of the girls that they could sit by me. The mother replied, "Oh. You don't have to do that."

"Yes,Ma'am, I do. It's okay. I am teaching my boys that a gentlemen gives up his seat for a lady. Chivalry may be endangered, but I am attempting to bring it back."


The strange thing is that after I said it, I felt guilty. Not because of the values I am trying to instill in my boys, but for the three grown men that may have heard me. As if they would think I was nuts or trying to judge them. I would also like to add that I did speak nicely without any increase in volume or attitude.

After I finished getting the second-worse* hair cut ever, I was standing at the counter to pay when a man was leaning in and whispering to the "stylist" that chopped hacked off unmercifully laughed later behind my back cut my hair. She told him, "No, I can't do that," and he walked away, but not in a huff.

His question to her? "If I give you $20, can I cut these people in line?"

I bet his mom would be  proud.

Have you witnessed or been subject to any acts of chivalry or at the very least common courtesy? Am I crazy for trying to teach my children to respect our fellow travelers on this spinning rock?

*The worst haircut ever would unfortunately be awarded to Sara, as she mentioned in the comment section of this post.

Photos: courtesy of Google.


1 comment:

Tiffany (Snarky Momma) said...

Wow, a WHOLE $20 to pay for schmuck-iness!

What an insult. How dare he think that someone else's time is worth less than his?

Good for you for bringing common decency back.

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