What I want to talk about today is little bit of manners. When raising your own child, you always knowingly or subconsciously refer to the experiences you had as a child yourself. I grew up in Ukraine. I grew up in a large city, but a small neighbourhood. I lived there for the first fifteen years of my life. Not too many people moved and families lived close together. Neighbours have been there for so long, that you considered them almost family. I knew everybody on the block. There was a lot of gossip sometimes and even a lot of drama. I cannot say that being close with people is always easy, but one thing that remained unchanged was the expectations of manners.
If I walked by an elderly neighbour sitting on the bench and did not greet her (or him), my grandma and mom heard about it the same day. I got a lecture from them. I said "hello" to anyone I knew after that. Back then, I thought it was lame. I rebelled and I did not understand why I needed to greet every person on the block. I was also twelve.
Today we live in Canada. We live in a townhouse complex with an inner yard and a playground. I like it. It gives the whole living experience a family feel. Except it is not.
My daughter went to play outside yesterday. She was in our backyard and she then ran to the slides. I went after her and walked right passed two neighbour boys. One is four and the other is eight. I met them before. My daughter played with them. I talked with their mom. Our eyes met, and they just looked away as if I was not even there. No hello?
It did not bug me until this morning. I learned to mind my own business in Canada. I would not tell their mom that they were not polite. It is not my job to teach them manners. It is their parents job. It is the job of their school teacher. If I did tell their parents about it, would I be considered ill mannered and out of line? I probably would.
While these manners are not really taught well and consistently by society during childhood, they will be expected later on in life.
This is a problem. This is what is wrong with the culture. We lost the village. No one cares. No one helps parents to raise their kids. There are no expectations. How can there be, when adults do not communicate them? Ill behaviours are tolerated because bystanders do not speak up when they see them. Most families live far apart, sometimes in different parts of the country or the world. The resident turnover in the area is so high that you get new neighbours every year. The saying "it takes a village.." is there for a reason. So why are parents segregated and all doing it on their own?
Ironically, in the age of social media where everyone is a click away, we haven't been more disconnected, raising kids all alone, giving them only a small glimpse of the real world. No wonder that depression and anxiety among the young adults is on the rise.
Just food for thought on this cold but sunny morning.