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Alexandra Collard

Editor in chief , The Beauty Magazine

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What ever happened to common decency? Are manners no longer part of US culture?

I don't understand why only wealtheir people still maintain levels of decency when the majority of citizens do not. I don't think money should influence your level of decency. No matter who you are or what you have or have not, you can still say please and thank you, your welcome, or hold the door or the elevator for someone, why don't parents teach the basics anymore? We were not wealthy, but we were taught the rules of decency above all else. Is it because it is a low priority or not even a consideration? It makes a world of difference if you take a moment to be polite and considerate, so why does it seem so hard to do? I can't abide a person who you say "Thank you" to -replies with hmpf or huh... what is that?

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    Aug 3 2011: I believe decency is taught. And it is largely based on the persons background whether they even think to consider another persons feelings even in the small things. I have always held doors open for anyone, doesn't matter the race, size, or anything to me. If someone is at least 15 feet away from me it is an automatic reflex to hold doors open. To help elderly carry groceries. These things are just automatic in my mind. But I attribute this to the way my mother raised me. She did these things automatically as did her mother. She taught, and gave examples everyday about being a decent and fair human being. And it became the same way for me. I have experienced people actually disliking this decency sometimes as well. I went to help an elderly lady carry a large plant. And she snapped "I am perfectly capable of carrying this." When in fact she was visibly struggling a great deal. But this never stopped me from equally being decent and fair to every human being. I get smiles sometimes. And I get very mean looks sometimes. But it's an automatic reflex to some. And an untaught, unnecessary thing to others. It all boils down to how you were brought up in most cases. There are different factors of course. Thank you for bringing this subject up though. It rises questions that there should be answers to. But sometimes, people just ignore the world around them. And think only for their well-being.

    - Jamie
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      Aug 4 2011: Jamie - Don't be discouraged from practicing decency!!! It benefits you, too.

      As for the elderly woman who rebuffed your kindness, perhaps you need to "fine tune" your practice of decency in this case. Elderly people must sometimes battle the perception that they are frail, weak and largely incapable of performing simple physical and mental tasks. My father is one of them. He is fiercely independent and his self-image depends on his being that way!! So what I do now is to be careful about how I phrase things to him (and to others who are elderly as well, being carefull not to inadvertently offend them).

      Still, it would serve the elderly well if they, too, practiced a little decency and realized that people like you have nothing but good intentions. Bravo!
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        Aug 4 2011: Thanks Jim! I haven't let it discourage me. I have only had things like that happen a couple times. I have been a little more cautious since that incident. I make sure that I clearly ask if they need help or not. So that I for sure get an answer back. And I've noticed that making a difference in responses. But I'll continue practicing public decency because I believe it to be a very important thing. :D

        - Jamie

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