Can you imagine dining at a table and no one has any knowledge of table manners? Can you imagine living in a community with no rules? Can you imagine meeting a foreign dignitary without any knowledge of protocol? Can you imagine playing a sports game, tennis, football, baseball, hockey… and there are no rules?
Can you really imagine living in this society with no rules? I can’t, it’s too painful to think about. But, I recently found myself FORCED to witness an act of incivility that just happened to be up close and personal in my face. I witnessed it with my own two eyes. There was no imagining.I was in standstill traffic in a prestigious section of Atlanta called “Buckhead”, on an infamous street called, Peachtree, in the passenger seat of a car observing a car door opening just inches from the car I was riding in, when to my surprise, a middle-aged woman began to violently brush her teeth with a battery operated toothbrush (it wasn’t a Sonicare) and just moments later, out came a wad of toothpaste. As the light changed up ahead we began to move only to be stopped again by the light. Once again, I received another rude confirmation that this uncivilized act was not a figment of my imagination. She did it again, opened her door and let go as I winced in disgust and turned the other way as did the driver of the car in which I was riding. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I would think it was an over exaggerated story. Oh, and by the way, the woman brushing her teeth avoided all eye contact as other passengers in cars started turning around to take a look at this private act in a public arena.
To answer the questions posed above, about a society without not having rules, manners, protocol…, it would be chaotic, hostile, sickening, embarrassing, disrespectful, depressing, hopeless, frightening…, in a word, uncivilized!
My hope is that we are all mindful of our own behavior in public. Are we putting forth enough effort to help make our society a more civil place in which to live, learn and enjoy? So just remember Miss M’s adage, whatever you do, just do it with class!