What is it about some people who seem to always know the right thing to do or say? Is it in their genes? Was it taught? Or are we all born with the basics and some how through the years what came so naturally becomes undone?
Our parents teach us to say 'please', 'thank you' and 'you're welcome'. Each and every one of us comes across adults every day who don't seem to have much use for these words. You know they've heard of them and even used them once upon a time. But for some reason, they've thrown them away as if manners have become a relic of another era.
There's clearly a new rule. In the city we see it on buses and trains. Men will look up at a woman from their seats and continue to sit. They will bury themselves in books and newspapers oblivious to the lady standing. Young people will sit in seats reserved for the elderly or physically challenged while laughing or talking on their cell phones as if it's all right.
Neighbors will get on elevators and not acknowledge you. They will take out their cellphones and hold a conversation while they invade your space filling every square inch with rudeness.
We were told again and again, what we do is a reflection of our parents. We wanted them to be proud of us. And they were, every time it was reported by our friends' parents how well mannered we were.
On another note, we heard from our mother who was at the inauguration that there was a lot of booing whenever Bush's name was mentioned. This was disturbing. Why boo during a joyous celebration of another person's success? This was a time to be gracious. President Obama was.
We have a new First Family. They are poised, gracious, engaging, respectful of each other and all of us. Let's take a page out of their historic book. Or why don't we revisit our own book - it's all there.