I am perplexed!
Not so long ago, the words ‘please‘ and ‘thank you‘ were common courtesies, even expected, if not compulsory, when asking for something or help from another person, or when receiving help, assistance, or a gift from another person.
Like these examples:
“May I have a cookie please.”
“Yes sure, help yourself to a cookie.”
“Could you make me a cup of coffee, please.”
“Sure, my pleasure.”
“Can I please use your toilet.”
“Yes, feel free.”
“Could you drop me off at the shops please?”
“Sure, hope in.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it.”
I don’t know exactly when this happened or why, but it seems the word ‘please‘ is no longer part of the English language at least, not sure about other languages, and the phrase ‘thank you‘, is fading dramatically and seems to be facing it’s last use by date.
Today’s younger generations, from about the early 1990’s hardly ever, if ever at all, say ‘please’ when asking for something, and when they do ask for something, it sounds more like an order to a servant rather than a request that the recipient is not actually obliged to fulfil. They ask for things as if it is their expected ‘right’.
It seems to be going hand in hand with this new generation attitude of “I don’t have to earn respect, I was born with that privilege and you must respect me” and “I don’t have to earn my keep or my huge salary, it is my right!” Regardless of the millions of people who came before me, who worked hard and gained experience to warrant their healthy remuneration. It seems these new generations believe they are born with that right, and all they have to do is barely scrape through a college diploma or undergraduate degree, and they deserve, no they demand the same rate of pay and remuneration and respect that those before them spent years of effort, energy gaining knowledge and experience to justify their rewards.
Okay, let me make myself clear here, it is definitely not every single person in the younger generations, in fact there are many young people with courteous, pleasant and appreciative attitudes, and good work ethics, but it is a generalising of their populations, with a reasonable majority who have the ‘give me everything on a platter, but expect nothing from me, because everything is my birth right, but I do NOT have to earn any of it‘ attitude.
I probably won’t be around to see it, but I worry these young generations will eventually be dealing with their own young generations, who by then will literally be demanding from them in a tone, attitude and manner more like the Masters of old would treat and speak to their lowly slaves. I guess they’ll be complaining about those young generations attitudes, not realising they created them, in the same manner that we are now complaining about our younger generations, not accepting that we allowed the proliferation of our younger generations poor disrespectful, ungrateful and unappreciative attitudes… yes that’s right, we are to blame!
How do we change this… what is the solution. Because those that know me, know, for me it is about finding a solution, not dwelling on the problem.
Well, I think the solution to this one is simple.
Firstly, kick ‘political correctness’ down the toilet where it belongs, and then do what our parents, teachers and elders did.
If the younger generations ask you for something, like “Can I have a cup of tea!”, or, a more often used version, “Make me a cup of tea too”, without a ‘please’ attached, just say, “Sorry… can I have a cup of tea, WHAT!?” And don’t oblige with the favour, until you get a “please”.
Then when you do provide the favour, and you don’t get a ‘Thank you’, just stand there with an annoyed expression. I’m sure you’ll eventually get a similar response to what we would have given in our youth… “What?” Which is your open invitation to say… “A ‘Thank you’ would be nice!” Or, when after handing the favour, and not receiving a comment of gratitude or appreciation for your non-obligatory kindness, Say to them, “What do you say!”.
Of course , it may take a bit of educational coaching, because currently they will not know what you are referring to, never having practiced the courtesy before. So firstly introduce them to the terms you are seeking, whether it be a ‘please’ or a ‘thank you’, so they know what it is you are waiting for or expecting. After a few interactions, they will know the right button to push, just like they do when wanting an ‘app’ to instantly provide them with their desire on their personal non-surgically attached electronic communication and information devices.
Sorry, I don’t have a solution for that particular dysfunctional mutation yet, but I’ll work on it. The main issue here is the dying art of ‘common courtesy‘.
Anyway, persevere with it, and remember, they are only young and don’t actually know everything, like they think they do. So be a little patient, and I’m sure the message will soon get through, and the habit of common courtesy will eventually be reborn!
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please keep in mind, this is just my opinion, and I deeply apologise if I have offended anyone in anyway, and may god strike me down on the spot right now if I have…
Nope… still here!.. guess I haven’t really offended anyone too much then.
Have a wonderful day and keep up the good work… the world really is a wonderful place, it’s just a pity it’s full of us humans!