Wednesday, May 12

Yak Yak Yak: Manners maketh man

- October 25, 2016


I hold open doors, stand to let people older than me sit on the bus and pepper my life with the words please and thank you. Were I not to I could sense my mother’s right hand swishing towards me in horror at my lack of manners.

I guess I am of a generation when manners were instilled in us from early childhood and I declare that those manners have never done me any harm. Far from it, they usually prompt at the very least a smile or a thank you. I like that, I like to go through life feeling there is good in the world.

Last week I came home feeling that there is a lot of bad in the world. Not that it is that unusual, you only need to watch the news to see gross injustices being carried out in the names of politics and religion. Watching the American Presidential debates has chilled me to the bone, such anger, such greed, so much malice. And all of that will make this week’s story small fry – but I will tell it anyway.

In hindsight this was foolish

It was a Saturday night, about eleven and I had spent a great evening at the opera and dining with friends. I was happy, not drunk, and as I was ready for bed I decided to take a cab and from a city centre taxi rank where I joined a small queue. Two people in front got into cabs then it was my turn. Before I knew it someone had jumped into the next cab. I shouted out.

Then a young woman jumped into the next cab. I was angry and shouted again, but the driver paid no heed so I decided to take action, yes action. I stepped in front of the cab, which was not moving and refused to move. In hindsight this was foolish, dangerous even but I was delighted that after a minute the driver asked the young woman to get out. She was not pleased. I did not care. I’d made my case and got my taxi. The driver declared that it was not his responsibility but I think he was wrong, surely at a rank the drivers need to make sure that the queue is respected. Yes it’s a trifling incident but surely if we all behaved better the world would be a far nicer place.

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