1932: Good Manners in Public Places

I ride the Red Line on Washington’s Metrorail system every day to work. Usually it’s not so bad, but lately I seem to be seated right near folks who are just plain breaking the rules: drinking drinks, eating sandwiches, all that—not to mention the typical rude behaviors like cell phone gabbing, loud, tinny, earbuds. But the absolute worst, I tell you, was the other morning when a man nearby started clipping his fingernails right there on the train. ARGH. Man, I’m cranky! I guess I need a vacation.

Since my extended days off aren’t scheduled for a month or so from now, I must take a bit of comfort in sharing some “Good Manners in Public Places” from Good Manners for Young Americans.. This section begins with “A courteous person will not make himself conspicuous or troublesome in any place,” and does bring up a relevant piece of advice for my recent car-mate: “Care for your finger nails, your face, your hair in your room at home, not in any public place. After making your toilet as well as you can, forget it.”

Here are some other tips for manners while on public transport:

There is no other place in which the spirit of courtesy seems so lacking as in our trolley cars, elevated trains and subways.

In getting a car, stand aside, and let those who are infirm or older precede you.

Always rise to give your seat to a much older person, to a cripple or to a mother with a child.

Never chew gum in cars [uh, oh, I do this one] or in other public places. If you must chew gum, let it be within the privacy of your own room.

If you do not wish to be thought ill-bred, do not eat in street cars.

When on a train do not occupy more seat room than is yours by right.

That reminds me about the seat hoggers. Lift up your bags and let others sit down, would you, please?

One thought to “1932: Good Manners in Public Places”

  1. I can’t agree more, Miss Abigail.
    I observe people of all ages generally sharing the same kind of thoughtless behavior… and I see it as exactly that: thought-LESS. I’m sorry our culture has that general kind of vice.

    I once went to England for a visit and was quite impressed at the difference of public behavior: the train of the London Underground was almost as silent as the grave. My father even reprimanded me for whispering too loudly to my sister, which I thought funny.

    I respect those people who make a deliberate effort to not invade others’ bubbles and who treat others civilly (even if their behavior is somewhat aloof). Thoughtful behavior is very hard (especially to my younger sister), but every effort seems to make this world a happier, more peaceful place. 🙂

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