I think there are two types of people in the world: those who never move to the side to let another walker pass easily, and those polite, considerate, charming, lovely sidewalk shifters who gladly step aside when confronted with someone straight ahead. I’m a shifter, of course ~ always have been, always will.
Who knows what the heck that means, but when I saw this next excerpt, I just had to share. It’s from The Polite Pupil, brought to us by “the Brothers of Mary for the use of Catholic Parochial and High Schools.”
1905: Sidewalk Manners
When walking in company with others, give the middle place to the most distinguished person. If a single companion, give him the right-hand side; however, in case you turn back, do not change your position. On the sidewalk, give the person you wish to honor the inside of the walk. If, on turning a corner, you wish to change your position, be sure to pass behind and not in front of your companion.
When mounting a stairway, a gentleman always precedes a lady; but in descending, the gentleman steps back to let the lady pass down first.
When passing others, always keep to the right; you will thus avoid confusion and possible collisions. Never brush against or elbow people that are passing by. If, by accident, you stumble against others, or inconvenience them in any way, do not fail to apologize.
When walking alone, never turn your head to look behind you, but rather stop and turn about. It is very rude to turn and stare at a person passing by. School-children are often too thoughtless and selfish to give others share of the walk. We often see three or four girls walking along arm in arm, taking up the entire sidewalk, so that others must step off the walk to let them pass. Politeness requires that the younger give the older the greater part of the walk, or all of it, if need be.
Source: Brothers of Mary. The Polite Pupil. Dayton, Ohio: Nazareth, 1905.
~ pp. 79-80 ~