This week’s column… Always hold the door open for someone… They might be famous!
I heard a quote from Quincy Jones today (seemingly pinched from Oscar Wilde but sounded better by Quincy!) … It was very poignant and struck a chord with me. He said something along these lines: ‘The only time you should look down on somebody is when you give them a hand to help pull them up.‘
It made me think. I am human same as everyone else and far from a perfect human.
Frail, vain, egotistical, a bit lazy, extrovert, introvert. I work hard, play hard, love a lot, hate a bit.
Do I look down on people though? Hmm… Maybe I do.
Personally, I hate rudeness and bad manners immensely, I dislike bullies and bullying but I am sure I have been rude, my manners are not always perfect, and I am sure, at some time, I have bullied someone to some extent, in however a small way it may have been.
I do tend to look at those particular traits in people with disdain and disgust, though. I don’t like seeing them in myself either. These characteristics are all displayed by people every day in our bright, shiny modern metropolis.
As a rule of thumb, the Lockie mantra has always been: 1. To try my best as a human being. 2 Don’t be too much of a twat.
My Mum and Dad brought me up properly to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. To always open doors for people, to be polite, don’t be rude, respect your elders and those around you.
Sometimes, in this crazy age, though, it is very hard not to judge people by bad, idiotic or rude and unpleasant behaviour. It’s not a class or wealth specific thing either… I see awful behaviour from all quarters of society, to be honest.
Wealth, background, creed, colour, where you live and what accents you carry are not a barometer in what I experience daily. Rich, poor, black, white, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Muslim can all quite apparently behave like dicks at times.
ICYMI, I am not personally impressed by wealth or its trappings. It’s ephemeral and unimportant to me what car or cars an individual owns, how big their house is or which designer ‘fashion’ they choose to wear or by the fact they are ‘significantly richer than me’.
However, I am impressed by actions, by spirit, by behaviours, by conversation, amiability, passion and concern for others, not just the self. But, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of self love (TMI?)
I try my best to aspire to these parameters, but occasionally, slip … I, like everyone, am far from perfect as member of society. I do admire people who try hard, who aspire and attain, or those who try but do not necessarily get the rewards they deserve… It’s all about the effort made for me.
I think we are getting removed from the basics in recent years.
My Nan taught me to always be polite if possible, help people if I could, to try to give the best I could in every situation. Yet, I see bad behaviour, rudeness, bad manners and also violent behaviour towards each other, growing day to day.
What is it about the modern condition that seemingly has increased the lack of tolerance and grace amongst many people? Why do people set so much stead on celebrity, for instance? Why do people aspire to this desperate desire for fame at any price?
A lot of famous people I know do not particularly enjoy all the trappings of fame when it arrives. Fame is a hungry creature and envelops a person’s life. It can be as unpleasant as it is pleasant. Look at the recent cases of famous folks needing psychiatric treatment for addictions and dependencies due to the stresses put upon them simply by being famous.
Has the neo-liberalism of the last 50 odd years really led to this seemingly lack of concern for others? Have people, like me, with our libertarian and slightly left wing socialist leanings, truly caused the rise in the ‘It’s about me!’ generation?
Is all the swearing, spitting, violence, failings of the world – including all the bad manners and poor behaviour down to us lefties, after all? I don’t reckon so. I think we have just stopped respecting each other due to a litany of errors.
We liberals have been at fault I admit. Champagne socialism worked 20 years ago, but real social change is needed today. Stopping children being properly chastised may be part of it, but is it right to slap a child daft in a supermarket for knocking over tins of beans? I don’t think so.
Is it really worse than it used to be or am I just in a position in owning a bar and seeing people sometimes at their worst due to drink and deftness? To be fair, most folk are well behaved, pleasant and polite. Some, though, do become utter and complete dicks and behave terribly.
Whether this is worse now than it was, I am not sure. I personally think we have become more self-obsessed and self-serving as well as less tolerant to others’ feelings, generally.
I think we should all take a tip off the wonderful and talented Quincy Jones.
Don’t look down on people… Always try to help your fellow human beings. It’s nice to be nice and too easy and lazy to be nasty.
Try this week to be a bit more tolerant, to say please and thank you a bit more, to give up your seat to someone, to hold open a door and smile a bit more at people.
It’s those little things that make you, me and everyone feel that little bit better about ourselves and those around us. It’s starts with ourselves, ultimately.