Nothing to do with libraries this time, but something which is probably even more important – good manners. I seem to be noticing people being rude a lot more than I used to. Nothing and no one specific, just selfish behaviour manifesting itself in a wide variety of ways: people failing to acknowledge others moving out of their way, barging past like they own the world, drivers beeping at cyclists for no discernible reason, cyclists shouting at each other, everyone absorbed in their pet gadget and oblivious to the world around them. And I’m ashamed to admit that often I find myself being rude back: glaring at perceived offenders, speaking out or muttering under my breath. None of this is good.
With all of this in mind the following posts are really resonating with me at the moment: Abi’s observations about Japanese manners, Andreas on how to de-stress your bike ride, and the marvellously-titled “Save your soul. Turn off your gadget“.
I don’t think I can do much about rude people at large, but I can change my own behaviour. I’ve decided that I need to be more aware of the people around me, to do my absolute best to remain polite at all times, and to quell the internal mutterings which only serve to raise my blood pressure. (That said, I’m not planning to turn into a complete doormat, and I do believe that justifiable complaints can and should be made in a positive and civilised way.)
Doing a quick online search for quotations about manners I came across the following, attributed to Goethe: “A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait.” I certainly know what I want my picture to look like.
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