Friday, April 20, 2007

Observing Rudeness

I remember when I was a child and even into early marriage, people in general seemed to be more friendly than they are now. When I was growing up, Everyone always waved and smiled when you passed them. It didn't matter if they knew you personally or not. If a car let you pass you waved. If someone was walking near you as you were going in or coming out of a door you held the door for them. You smiled at people as you made eye contact with them.

I learned that from my parents and we have hopefully passed that on to our own children. But I have noticed more and more in the last few years that you just don't see that kind of courteousness any more like we should. I first started noticing it in youth age children. The attitude seemed to be; you owe ME, so why would I do something nice for you. They would even just walk right off the curb and out in front of your car without even so much as a glance to acknowledge you are there. Then it got to where I noticed it just as much in people who were around my grandparent's age. Not the, you owe me attitude, but just the attitude of rudeness and not being friendly. I have had just as many older people walk right passed me when I have an armful trying to get out of the door as I have had younger people. When my children were young, people would walk right passed me while I was trying to hold open a door while getting two kids and a stroller through the door.

While I was out the other day I decided to make a mental note of the people around me and their reactions and responses. As I walked around through 3 or 4 different stores, I would try and make eye contact with people and smile at them. I always smile at people as I pass them, but I was more aware of it on this day. What I found out on that particular day was, only 3 or 4 people smiled back. And everyone one of those was a person who worked for the store in which I was in. Not one other person returned the smile.

It just amazes me that we seem to be, I guess so busy with ourselves, that we can't even offer common courtesies anymore. We can't offer or even return a smile. I'm sure some of it is because our world has changed. You could be a psycho for all they know these days. What's even more amazing to me, really the word is sad (even heartbreaking), is that I'm finding out that more and more of these rude people are probably Christians.

I have heard several people comment lately how Christians on a Sunday morning are the rudest customers, how Christians at a Sunday lunch are the worst tippers (or no tippers!), etc. I have personally been in some situations with Christians who I didn't know very well, but knew they were Christians, in which they were extremely rude to people around them. It's embarrassing.

So does this mean that there are probably more Christians in the world and we just don't realize it because they are being so rude to people? I pray that's not the case. Jesus was full of love and compassion for everyone! He touched those that no one else would touch. He smiled at people and made them feel loved. As His children, that's the type of Christian those around us should see. There's an old song that says, "They will know we are Christians by our love". Do people really know that we are Christians by our love? By the love and concern we show for others? By the smile we give strangers who pass by? By the simple courteousness of opening doors to help someone out?

I pray that we have not become so busy and so calloused that we forget WHOSE we are. And as HIS, we should always act more like Him. Especially when those around us are not. Because as His, we should be sanctified, set apart from the world. Blessings!

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14-15

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know god, because God is Love. 1 John 4:7-8



Great thoughts girl. I appreciate the reminder. Hope your weekend goes well.

Shannon said...

I agree with you completely. I never really put thoughts behind no one smiling or being courteous until we moved to Van Alstyne. Everyone here waves as they go by our house. Most people are so friendly and always saying hi. I think this is the reason that my transition here was so smooth. I love the laid back friendly people here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your heart.

Love ya!! Danna

Terry Rush said...


If they didn't smile at the sight of you, I'm saying their smiler has burnt out. They need to call an electrician and get that fixed!

Look at me......I'm smiling because you are awesome!

I love you today.

Bruce Archer said...


Back in the mid 1990s, I was a waiter at Chilis--it was before I became a Christian. One of the things most of us dreaded, was working Sunday lunches because we would always have a bunch of church people who would run us ragged and complain and be rude and then leave almost nothing for a tip.

What all food servers should be saying today is "I can't wait til some church people come in--I could use some encouragment and cheering up today."

Grace and Peace,

Bruce Archer

Neva said...

"By this shall all men know you are My disciples, if you have love one for another." Jn 13:34-35

Good post--I have noticed similar behaviors. I think rural areas are a little more friendly--not always courteous but friendlier if you know what I mean. :)

BTW-- When we lived in Lubbock, we had quite a few converts from wait staff because we are kind, we tip well and when we say our prayer, we say, "we are fixin to pray, is there anything you'd like us to pray for?" They almost always have something and seemed touched that someone cares enough to ask.
It doesn't always open a door but occasionally it does.

jenny biz said...

Liz, We need an update!! Is Ashley home???