Ding Dong!! The sound of the doorbell resonates through the hall. The door reluctantly opens once more to reveal little ghouls and superheroes. “Trick or treat!” their high itched vibrato screech through the cool evening air. Expectantly, they hold out their buckets and baskets awaiting what treasures lay in store for them. Plop, plop, plop. Sugary goodness adds its weight to their burden. They turn and trot away.
Wait a minute. No ‘thank you’? Not even a ‘thanks’? No acknowledgement whatsoever of the sacrifice made to purchase the candy, of sitting here waiting when there are so many more pressing issues at hand, or of doling out treats unceasingly to these most ungrateful little snots.
The door shuts behind them. The light cuts off.
What’s wrong with people? Since when did a little common courtesy become replaced by an expectation? Since when did manners become a thing eradicated by entitlement? And so it begins. Children at a young age are rarely taught to be grateful nor to show thanks. In a world where material possessions are so easily acquired, and “bigger and better” bombards their minds, why should there by any thanks for something that will so quickly be replaced? The expectation is not that a kindness should be acknowledged, but that a kindness SHOULD just happen. Kids are should-ing all over themselves. Mom should do this… Dad should do that… Teachers should do for me… The World should….
But the World doesn’t. Mom may for some time. Dad might for a while. Teachers will for a short while. But the World…. well, that’s a different matter entirely.
Common courtesy isn’t so common any more. Matter of fact, it’s become such a rarity that its acknowledgement is usually given in an air of surprise rather than gratitude.
Hold the door open? Nah, I’m in a hurry.
Return the cart to the corral? Ugh, it’s too far away. Someone gets paid for that.
Tip 20%? Puh-lease. All she did is set down food.
Say ma’am or sir? Excuse me, but it’s not the Dark Ages.
Smile at someone? Uh, creepy.
But it’s almost Christmas, so many of those SHOULDers will put on their annual 4-week long air of gratitude and courtesy (maybe even ring a bell to help those in need) but return to their selfish little ways as soon as the clock hits December 26th.
Rather than wait until Christmastime to become aware of Gratefulness (who is anxiously awaiting some acknowledgement) and Common Courtesy (who rings her hands in dismay at being forgotten) maybe we ought remember them during Halloween and allow them a little longer time to shine in the spotlight.
Trick or Treat?