Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Manners cost Nothing.

Growing up I always had the importance of manners drilled into me. They cost nothing, and mean everything. Whether it was saying please and thank you, excusing yourself or holding the door open, my parents did an exceptionally good job of ensuring that myself and my younger brother were raised with morals and manners.

That's why it continues to amaze me that some people fail to have them, or if they do have them, fail to use them. I'm not talking about young children here, I mean full grown adults who should know better.

Over the last few weeks I've had several encounters with people who had forgotten to use their manners. People swearing in front of children, not saying thank you when you hold a door open, even people that barge past you in the supermarket. It is down right rude and certainly not setting any sort of example for the youngsters. People moan about the 'youth' of today; I am a firm believer that children learn by imitation so what chance do they have with these people as role models?

It isn't everyone mind and I certainly wouldn't generalise however one particular situation made me question where exactly manners have gone.

I got the train home from Leeds with Freddie in his pram. I have a Quinny Buzz so not the smallest of prams which meant it wouldn't fit on the train as it was rush hour. I was with my mum so she put the pram down and held it whilst I held Freddie in his car seat. The train was packed out and Freddie decided that, although he'd only been fed an hour before, he wanted milk and he wanted it now! I tried to soothe him but he pretty quickly started becoming extremely restless which soon turned into a full blown screaming tantrum. 

I realised I'd have to get him out of his car seat to feed him or he'd be responsible for deafening the whole of the 5.22pm train from Leeds! 

I was stood up on the train; one arm clutching Freddie and the other, desperately clinging onto a pole for dear life! There was one free seat but a woman practically clambered over the car seat and dived into it, leaving me to stand once the train had started to move.

So here I was, 'lady with a baby' so to speak. The train was moving at a pretty fast pace and I was stumbling about all over. I looked about for a seat, petrified that I was going to fall over and squash Freddie. I caught the eyes of about 6 or 7 different people, both men and women, and not one offered me their seat. 

Now I wasn't expecting a seat because I was a woman. I am something of a feminist (although I certainly aren't burning my bra!) and I believe that men and women are equal so I didn't expect a man to give up his seat for me.

I expected a man, or a woman to give up their seat because I was holding a baby on a fast moving train and it could have been dangerous if I'd have fallen over with him in my arms.

Was I expecting too much?


  1. I feel exactly the same and would always give up my seat to someone pregnant / with a baby / elderly etc.

    When I was pregnant with my first daughter I fainted on a busy train from Birmingham and had to sit in the hallway bit by the door as still no one offered a seat!

    I also couldn't believe that in waiting for my 20 week scan in the boiling hospital corridor not one of the men or children that were using all the available seats offered it to any of the pregnant ladies who were left standing. I would have booted hubby or my kids up if it was me!

    L x

  2. On the buses in my area, there is a sign (near the front of the bus) which says "Courtesy makes the journey more pleasant. Please give up your seat to the elderly or less able at busy times".

    I personally have always heeded that advice and make sure my children do too! But agree it's a mark of the terrible state of manners in society today that most people simply ignore it.

    Jess, you certainly weren't expecting too much (Momma L too)!

    Once when I was pregnant, an elderly lady with a walking stick offered to give up her place for me on a packed bus. I declined, though luckily it put others around in their place and I was offered the seat by a younger (rather embarrassed) man instead.

  3. I think it's general good manners to give up your seat. It's nice to see that some people still have the same morals that I was brought up with!

    How terrible what happened to you on the train! It's ridiculous that some people could be so self centred! X

  4. I agree Amanda.

    I was talking to my mother in law about it and she said that her friend who is 90 was on a bus the other day and stood up to offer her seat to another elderly passenger who didn't have a seat! She certainly put the rest of the passengers to shame!

    From your comments, it's reassuring to see that there are still some good people out there. Hopefully the ignorant idiots that we've all experienced are few and far between! X