People nowadays are constantly saying, "kids these days....they're so rude, they don't have any manners." Well, you know what I think? I think the problem is really the adults. And not just young adults - people my age, my parents' age, and my grandparents' age. Who do you think the kids learn these things from? Over the last year it seems like I've seen more of the ugly side of people than anyone should. I will give you a few examples.
* On a side note, I will try to only give "anonymous" examples from people that are not facebook friends that read this blog. But let's be honest, some of the people who are the rudest, who speak to us with such a sense of entitlement and expectations and use that nasty tone in their e-mails are often those facebook "friends" themselves. *
Example 1: At our neighborhood Easter egg hunt we ask that parents drop off a dozen candy-filled eggs for any child who wants to participate. Then we have some great neighbors that don't have young children but still donate extra eggs. By the time we get to the hunt we have enough eggs for each kid to find around 20. Good deal, right? Provide 12, get 20. That's a better investment return than you're going to find most places. There are also 10 eggs with tokens in them indicating the child won a prize (donated by the HOA) Most of the families were happy about that. But one family in particular went away very upset. You see, their children walked away with 20 eggs for one child and 15 eggs for the other. They were sure a few of the children took more than they were supposed to. And yep, that always happens when parents don't monitor their children. But, still that family walked away with 35 eggs after providing 24. Good deal still. But, they didn't win a prize. Most kids didn't. Only 10 did. But they didn't, so they were very upset. Not just the two kids, but the parents too. RUDE. Not grateful that for four years I've taken my own time to plan a neighborhood event - doing something fun that helps create a sense of community in our neighborhood. Nope, they didn't get enough eggs or a $5 gift card to McDonald's. Geesh.
Example 2: Our PTO hosts a 1 mile, 2 mile, and 5K fun run in the fall to raise money for our school. It's our sole fundraiser for the year and it takes an unbelievable amount of hours to prepare for. Seriously. Crazy amount of work. In preparation for the event we send home numerous fliers, e-mails, update our website, etc. with details for parents. And then this year one woman walked up at the beginning of the event and was quite upset. She was bringing a child to the 1 mile event and she wasn't sure what time it started so she showed up at the beginning of the day.
Well, it's August folks. In Kansas. The 1 mile kiddie run is our last event of the day because it's short. And we schedule the longer races for the morning with our more serious runners who will get out of bed early for a run because it can easily be crazy hot later in the morning. Besides, what parents really want their kids to have to be somewhere by 7am? Not this parent! This lady was furious she was early. She said we hadn't done enough to let her know what time to show up. Apparently fliers, e-mails, website updates, newspaper stories, etc. weren't enough. Maybe we should have personally called her house. I don't know. But seriously, she really ripped into some of our volunteers because she didn't bother to look for the details.
Those are just the more brash people who are rude directly to your face. While it's more shocking, it's not as common as the person who is rude over the computer. The person who e-mails you in an incredibly nasty tone when they could have said the same thing a dozen different ways and gotten a much better result. Seriously, don't people reread their e-mails before pushing send? Tone is important. Am I right?
So, the next time you blame the misguided youth on their bad attitudes, lack of respect, bad manners, and general rudeness, think about who they learned that from. It's the adults folks. And be a better example. Be nice. Be respectful. Show a little love. A little joy. Some peace. Patience. Kindness. Some goodness. Faithfulness. A little gentleness, and self control people! It seems like pretty good advice to me!