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#84: What Happened To....?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last night at dinner with a long-time friend who is also former military and former law enforcement, we began talking about the loss of respect in society today. Neither of us would even think of wearing a cap inside a building, yet this is prevalent today, especially in restaurants.

A woman at the adjacent table offered an insight about clothing and other behaviors on airplanes. Used to be that accepted attire for a flight included a dress or blouse and skirt for women and a suit or blazer for men. Now, anything goes and many passengers wearing flip-flop type sandals feel free to kick off a shoe and stick their smelly foot on the back edge of the seat ahead of them.

Then we turned our conversation to churches. In days past, visitors to a church would go dressed in their "Sunday go to meeting clothes." Now, while it is good that people attend, there appears to be no dress code anymore. Shorts, t-shirts, halter tops and similar attire have replaced nice dresses and suits.

What happened to the time when people didn't carry on cell phone conversations in doctor's waiting rooms or in restaurants or elevators or a plethora of other places where their "important" conversation intrudes on others near them, when people had more respect for others and for themselves, when they were more polite and considerate and caring?

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"Every action in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those present." George Washington

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I agree, Lou. I went to a private school and always obeyed the dress code!!!
    4179 days ago
    I remember when I was coming up in school, the boys knew that hats were not to be worn inside, girls in skirts knew that you sat with knees together or legs crossed. You said, Please, Thank you, Yes (NOT what), and Good Morning. We did not call our elders by their first names. This was just very, very common courtesy.
    One of my friends told me about a going to a friends house for dinner. In the middle of dinner the teenager of another guest, started texting on his cell phone. A little alarmed, she asked him if he thought it was appropriate to do that, he responded - what's the big deal? It's not like it's a formal dinner.
    Is that what it has come to? You have to be important or it has to be a formal occasion respect someone?
    What I've come to see as a basic lack of respect is known as rather normal and common place in many areas.
    Respect is not expected, nor it seems is it required.
    It just seems like these things are no longer taught, I dont really understand why. Are parents too busy? I'm not quite sure what is happening.
    If I ever have children one day. I aim to raise my children how my mother raised me. Respect never, ever goes out of style.
    4180 days ago
    Clothing doesn't mean so much to me. I was brought up in a Christian home where we went to church - and dressed in our Sunday Best - every Sunday. I was trained in etiquette in NJROTC during high school. Even so, clothes to me are just...cloth.

    What bothers me about lack of respect is the lack of manners. "Please." "Thank you." "Sir" and "Ma'am." What happened to these? Since when does a person think that one has the right to ignore another person or subject said person to a one-sided conversation (speaking on a cell phone in public)? Since when does a person have the right to yell at a person just because they work in a drive-thru? Since when did MY needs become greater than YOUR needs? How am I to know whose needs are greater?

    So dress however one wants, but don't think that one deserves special treatment just because one exists.
    4180 days ago
    This is a topic of conversation we've had many times in our home. I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools, lived in a family full of former Navy men and former NOPD officers. To speak back to a teacher was unthinkable. To speak back to a NUN who was a teacher would never have entered our consciousness, no matter WHAT kind of woman she was. Clergy of ANY religion, law enforcement officers, judges, those in the military, teachers, anyone's mother or father, anyone's grandparents, anyone's aunts and uncles, store owners, any adult, for that matter, were to be treated with respect. The public school system in our parish (a county for most of you) requires uniforms for our kids. Oh, happy day! They also wrote into LAW that teachers must be addressed with yes, ma'am, and no, ma'am, yes, sir, and no, sir. These laws concerning uniforms and respectful manners were voted in by our citizens. When my husband and I got married six years ago, a second marriage for both of us, and I visited his family in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I was shocked that children called adults by their first names, not Ms. Whoever or Mr. Whoever, but a nine year old saying, "Hi, Missy. I'm Conner." Huh? That does not happen here in southeast Louisiana. Excellent blog, Lou. I hope parents and grandparents take the necessary steps to teach their children common courtesy and respect along with simple good manners.
    4180 days ago
    I am applauded at what children are allowed to wear to school. I think changes for the future will need to begin at that level. It is no wonder children don't take school as serious as they use to . They dress like they are going out to play.

    When I was growing up you were not allowed to wear jeans to school and tennis shoes were for gym class. Our casual attitude has expanded from school to work places, public places and even church. I am not for you need expensive clothes and guys must wear a tie, or women a dress but we need to draw a line somewhere or what is acceptable.
    4180 days ago
    I have said these same things so many times. Respect and concideration for others and for oneself seems to have gone out the door. hopefully somehow we can bring it back, in the way we raise our grandchildren.
    4180 days ago
    I'm with you on this 100%...what the H$ll happened?????
    4180 days ago
  • PAM19681
    Great blog wish I had some answer but it does seem as if society as a whole is on a downward swing.

    4180 days ago
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