OEsheepdog's Blog

And you thought you were having a bad hair day!

OEsheepdog

OEsheepdog
Location
From the Forest to the Shore, Connecticut, USA
Birthday
March 12
Title
Director of Change
Company
An unnamed non-profit health care provider
Bio
Change is good...that's what I keep telling my colleagues. It's difficult and hard. It's challenging and rewarding. It's fraught with peril. It needs to be done...yesterday!

OEsheepdog's Links

Salon.com
MAY 8, 2012 7:59PM

Death of the civilized society.

Rate: 32 Flag

I spent the last weekend in some of the most affluent sections of the Garden State, also known as New Jersey. I was a guest. What I saw and what I experienced was quite different than what I expected.

I watched the interactions between several affluent parents and their children. I now know that as a civilized society we are doomed.

Common courtesy is non existent. Words such as "please," "thank you," "excuse me" or "I beg your pardon" are no longer used by parents or their children. 

These parents are too self absorbed to notice when their children slam the door in an adult's face. They could care less when they are blocking access to the entrance of a restaurant. It's okay to elbow you out of the way so they can move to the front of the line so they can place their order ahead of you.

These are the parents who live in the best communities, want their children to go to the best schools, and get the best jobs. They could care less about us. We're just in the way.

I was happy that I don't live in these communities in Burlington county. It is repulsive. 

It's nice to know that I will probably be too old or dead by the time the progeny of these repulsive thirtysomethings are old enough to become voting citizens of this republic. 

I wish I could give these parents a dope slap every time I saw them fail to correct their children's abhorrent behavior. But then, they wouldn't understand why I was doing it to begin with. 

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
Your "rant" is not meaningless. You are correct. And we are going to pay for it some day. Actually, we are already paying for it. In ways we could not imagine, ways we cannot afford. Well done.
I completely agree with you, and so do many Republicans. That's why Republicans want to 'starve the beast' of public budgets, because not only will the poor suffer in the cutbacks but many of these affluent parents, whose professional careers are linked to public expenditures, often, not always, but often enough....all of them will get a swift kick to the ass.
Well, if it helps, my daughter is an affluent parent who was born in NJ, lived there a while as an adult, never would again, and she's not at all like that. Her kid is the center of the universe for both parents and a sizable set of aunts, uncles and grands, has more materially than any kid could ever need, and at age 3 has decent manners - taught and enforced by her parents. So not all is lost.
and oh, p.s. both parents and most of the mentioned extended universe have professional positions in organizations not particularly or at all dependent on public budgets (unless you count the need of a significant portion of Target's under-compensated store personnel for public medical subsidies) and we're all proud liberals.
I don't know how many times I have seen kids who act like this and every time I find myself wishing I could have them live with me for a few months.....just for some remedial education in manners, so to speak.
The kids on campus, this year that just finished, were much more polite than the previous years. Hoping it's a trend.
So true. But luckily, they won't vote. The self-absorbed never do. rated.
I am encouraged by some of the parents I see working with their children to help them learn how to live in civilization.....those that you saw will struggle with relationships their entire life....too bad......or just smack'em....
Manners are the glue that holds society together.

"It's okay to elbow you out of the way so they can move to the front of the line so they can place their order ahead of you."
I think if that ever happened to me, things would escalate so quickly it would blur.
I so hear you! I hear the way some kids speak to their parents these days and I am all but speechless. All I can say is that if I even looked at my parents the wrong way growing up I was in trouble. I was taught to respect my parents, and others. These days this is rarer than it should be. And the fast that the parents do little about it is astounding. You hit the nail on the head; the parents are often so self-involved it does not even phase then. You have every right to rant about this, because it is so true. What happened to common courtesy, especially for those that brought you into this world? It really gets my blood boiling too!
Next time my friend, just bite them!! ~:D
My kids love this. They are fascinated when other kids misbehave with no comeuppance. Kids need to know where they end and I begin. Excellent rant! /R
Sociopaths tend to win, and then we admire their "tenacity". But, who says the rich make up polite society?
Well, you're telling it like it is. I know what you mean. I keep quiet when I see my granddaughters misbehaving in a restaurant, but I don't like it.
Well that sounds nightmarish OE. I'd hope that before long these louts find out the hard way that civility has its benefits. There's a saying in the political world - be nice to everyone on your way up cuz you're sure as hell going to meet them again on your way down.
No, they would not understand why because they themselves have slid in the civility department. I shall spare you my war stories.

Kim is correct about the glue thing.

Nicely done rant.
ok, this makes me feel MUCH better about the following interaction:

boy: "i said thank you to the man who held the door, mom. cause you usually do, but you didnt.

*I* got snotty and said, "yes i did", but the important part is that he had learned the right thing was to say thank you, and did so. thanks for a vivid ullustration that we could be ever so much worse, sheepdog, who of course i did know that already. still nice to be reminded. glad you dont like those people.
oops. take out that "who" in the above comment, and fix the location of that comma....
was at a Mc Donald's on Sat and one woman called a teen (not hers) for not holding the door for 2 seconds until she could get to it. The teen threw a (quiet) fit with his friend after. Who does she think she is etc. Then they noticed me staring at them.
jesusfuckingchrist....really?
Well, we were all that age once, and it is the age, not the generation. remember that quote that is always getting misattributed to Socrates. It's from a play by Aristophanes 446-386 bc. Nothing new under the sun when it comes to human behavior.
Please note--it's not "could care less" but "couldn't care less"
Thanks.
Well done. It's easy to say that we're just getting old, that line of dismissive nonsense. But why are we different? Isn't it time for understanding how we survived?: looking back to see what is real, true and ennobling, not only lifts the spirit -- but it may humble the best of us. History is the truest teacher. Some who indulge such children are bound to only the present.
I had this same experience twenty years ago when my son was four and we entered him in a Montessori school in Orlando, a school attended by the children of doctors and lawyers. We wanted to try and give out child every advantage, but we had to withdraw him because only he and one other child had any manners. None of the children of the spoiled rich said "please" "thank you" or "excuse me"; they were taught to take what they wanted, that they had it coming. Or as Ann Romney put it "It's our turn". And they dare to speak of entitlements.
A lot of people running around our country with an out-of-control sense of entitlement. And it comes in all shapes, colors and sizes, and in all regions of our land. Great rant. R.
This is probably an over-generalization, but as a teacher, and as a mom whose kids attracted vastly different friends (the nerd crowd, the pothead guitarists, the choir/speech/drama crowd), I've found that kids and adults who love learning for its own sake display kindness, appreciation and manners more often than those who don't.
Civilized behavior needs to be taught and is a direct result of being happy. I like that idea that kids who like to learn are better behaved. We need to see beyond ourselves and have higher goals. Good post. Thanks.
Nice Rant I have been complaining about the lack of manners for a long time now. We I was a youngster, back when Pluto was a planet, we followed the Golden rule , do onto others as you would have them do onto you. Today it seems that many people young and old are too self absorbed. They don't take the time to , eat properly , sleep enough , spend time with their family and get to know their neighbors. Why the mad rush just to ge to the end of life, Take it easy and enjoy, be present .
Later on today I'll dig up for you the Plato quotation about this very same phenomenon.

r.
I see it every day - on trains, in stores, restaurants, museums. Groups of people stop in the middle of the sidewalk and block it. People get just through a doorway and stop, oblivious to others trying to pass. A clueless whiny person has a loud cell phone conversation that no one else on the train wants to hear. Or some oaf throws fast food wrappers out the car window while driving. There are too many who don't spend a second thinking about how these actions may affect anyone else. These are little things, but their effects add up.

Snippy - Well said.
I see it every day - on trains, in stores, restaurants, museums. Groups of people stop in the middle of the sidewalk and block it. People get just through a doorway and stop, oblivious to others trying to pass. A clueless whiny person has a loud cell phone conversation that no one else on the train wants to hear. Or some oaf throws fast food wrappers out the car window while driving. There are too many who don't spend a second thinking about how these actions may affect anyone else. These are little things, but their effects add up.

Snippy - Well said.
I see it every day - on trains, in stores, restaurants, museums. Groups of people stop in the middle of the sidewalk and block it. People get just through a doorway and stop, oblivious to others trying to pass. A clueless whiny person has a loud cell phone conversation that no one else on the train wants to hear. Or some oaf throws fast food wrappers out the car window while driving. There are too many who don't spend a second thinking about how these actions may affect anyone else. These are little things, but their effects add up.

Snippy - Well said.
On Sunday morning, he/she who wishes to remain sane and calm, does not patronize our award winning local artisan bakery. The entitled are there with their broods, making rudeness and havoc the prevailing atmosphere. Nearly every table has at least one muffin throwing screaming toddler. Not even for a tasty warm rhubarb tart will I go there then.
I feel what you are saying, OS. I live in a middle class NJ suburb and am often horrified by what I see, the lack of civility and common courtesy. I wrote about my experience at Shoprite a couple Sundays ago called "Is That All There Is", if you want to compare notes.
The loss of gentility is what I miss the most about an earlier time. My children were taught to have manners and they tell me that people think they are strange. True, I am old enough to be their grandmother but I keep reminding them that adults of a certain age like propriety and that being polite opens doors.
"Those in the cheaper seats clap the rest of you rattle your jewelry" John Lennon

older/exasperated
Proud to say OE that my son holds the door for people at restaurants and stores, helps old women cross the street and is kind to small children.
Civilized has become passe and I too wonder, where the disconnect?
"they wouldn't understand why I was doing it to begin with."
Well said.
We are the hoi polloi. They are the overlords. Who are we to question these superior beings? We should fall on our knees and worship them for the crumbs they may toss to us.
It's not just Joisey, Andy. I'm afraid it's everywhere, with the exception of military families, many of whom still teach their kids manners. As a sub teacher I get "sir" from a handful of the students. Invariably they're military "brats."
manners matter matter of speaking candidly from the shadows
Laugh @ Chicken Man you should see us with our hair down :D
but yeah, in polite society we act polite
My folks actually sent me to a class (all army brats) to learn manners- which fork is which, books on the head, sitting, answering the family phone, etc. I do think it's a military thing. We also dressed up going to class, no pjs in DoDs.

I'm making up for it now in wild print fleece and random swear words.
i agree with that snippy pup and kim regarding manners.

if i ask either of my daughters a question, the reply will likely be a polite "yes ma'am" or "no ma'am". i am proud to say their manners are impeccable. i think its an important part of teaching our kids to value themselves by teaching them to treat others how they expect to be treated & never settling for less.