We made it home late last night. As luck would have it there were no buses or trains to Horten at 12.30 at night so we had to take a taxi… It was nice to get home though and it was even nicer to see my two little rascals again!
I want to write about something today, something I think about from time to time, something that became very clear on my trip across the pond. I don’t want to generalize because there are always exceptions to the rule. I want to write about politeness… I value politeness, I feel it’s a way for people to respect each other, it’s a way to show consideration for others in a way that at least I wish for people to show consideration for me.
When I first moved back to Norway 13 years ago I was quite shocked by the lack of consideration or politeness if you will. I commuted by bus and train to Oslo every day and rarely did anyone of my generation hold the door for me when I came right behind them going into the train station, I was usually met by a slamming door if I didn’t catch it in time. This is not a big deal but it is a lack of conscientiousness. If I met a person of an older generation they would usually hold the door. This was surprising behavior to me because I always thought of my countrymen as polite people…but there is a new breed sprouting up it seems. This of course is just a basic example but I feel it illustrates my point quite well. The act of holding the door for someone right behind you, giving up your seat for an elderly person on public transport or just simply giving the person behind a shop till a smile and a thank you should be basic instincts in my opinion. It hardly costs you a calorie and it’s just plain and simply nice!!!
There seems to be an underlying idea however, that if you are polite to others then somehow you are undermining yourself??? Ridiculous if you ask me… I don’t get the attitude that I so often meet in this country, that don’t think you are any better than anyone else, don’t think you know any more, are better at…and so on (janteloven). Again I stress the point that this does not apply to everyone but it does apply to enough people that it is noticeable. In my humble opinion we should celebrate the people who know a little more, are a little better at something because surely we can learn something from these individuals.
When we were in London I generally met really friendly, polite, smiling people. It was nice, it made me feel happy, it made ME smile, I like to smile 😉 I wish I met more of that behavior where I live…
I can only speak for myself, I cannot change or control other peoples behavior but I can affect them with my behavior… I think I will keep holding the door open for the person behind me, smile and say thank you at the shops, smile at strangers in the streets, learn as much as I can from the people I meet that know more than me, then thank them for sharing their knowledge… I will also do my best to pass this behavior on to my two children!
Next time you meet a stranger in the street why not try it out??? Give them a smile and say hello…who knows what will happen? You may even get a smile back…now wouldn’t that be nice? 😉
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