As the holiday season grows ever closer, and we find ourselves continuously caught in overcrowded malls and grocery stores, I feel it is important to remind ourselves of the unquestionable need for politeness. Yes, it's undeniable that this time of year can work itself on your very last nerve. I myself have often fantasized about the gruesome murder of the person ahead of me in line that A) refuses to wear deodorant and B) still thinks he should be able to pay with a cheque, but it's important to remember that we can positively change our surroundings.
Despite my passionate desire to bowl over everyone in my way and get the hell out of there, I realize that I must not only restrain myself, but do a complete 180 and go out of my to be nice. Think about it. If everyone gives in to their desire to be rude, pushy and completely self involved (and they often do), what does that lead to? The current climate of every mall, store and drugstore available.
BUT, picture this. You're in an overcrowded mall, and yet no one is trying to zigzag through the crowd to get around the older, slower patrons. Everyone is perfectly aware that at this time of year long lines and waits are unavoidable, and instead of getting pissed off, they accept it, take a deep breath and just relax. No one budges, and if an unavoidable bump occurs, the offending party apologizes. Customers greet cashiers and sales associates with a smile and a greeting, instead of immediately demanding their merchandise. The cashiers and sales associates can relax and focus on doing an efficient and friendly job, instead of worrying about fending off verbal attacks and abuse. People smile and greet each other, make way for each other and are generally conscious of each other. Sounds nice, yes?
Of course, not everyone can be counted on to be polite. But every time we smile instead of scowl, show patience instead of losing our temper and are just generally thoughtful, we improve the climate of those stifling malls and maybe even make someone feel a little better. Which brings me to my point. I'm calling on all of us, myself included, to make an effort this holiday season. Go out of your way to be polite. You'll be surprised by how much better you feel when you finally make it home.