Was it ever thus?

When did the words
please and thank you
disappear from our
whatever happened
to the concept
of good manners?

I can walk through Leeds,
feel as if I am
in a parallel universe,
albeit a slower,
gentler one.

And when, from time to time,
I come across consideration, courtesy,
a Good Morning with a smile
I am surprised enough
to let it warm my day.


22 Responses to “Was it ever thus?”

  1. far too much truth in this, David – seems so many have lost the ability to be kind and make a connection

  2. Hi David,

    please get many thank yous and goodmornings 🙂 Last time I was in England, I noticed the friendlyness of the people. (That is in Yorkshire) Polite and gentle. They called me “love” so often, I really felt loved lol. And it costs nothing.

    Politeness is an art perhaps. One to be gratefull for. But it should never replace honesty, I think. Politeness can be very cruel.

    I like it how in English everyone is a “you”, from child to president, and I suppose this only works if people are generaly polite.

    Arohanui 🙂


    • *Big Smile*

      Ah Ina, when you visit places in England like Bridlinton and Whitby you are much likelier to find that friendliness than you are in the big cities. 🙂

      I understand your point about politeness being cruel, but that is only the case if it is insincere.
      And surely politeness and honesty are not mutually exclusive.

      “Generally polite” was always how it was back in the day. I seem to notice it being eroded.

      Take good care of yourself


  3. Love the poem David.

    There is a very sad truth in your words, and no, I don’t think it was ever thus. The pace of life has quickened so much and people seem to have become too busy to bother with the “small things”. It’s like everyone is in a massive fight to get to the front with an “everyone for themselves” attitude, pushing others out of the way. And to get to the front of what ??!!

    It is indeed sad when a smile or kind, friendly “hello” surprises us.

    Love you loads

    • Thank you Christine,

      Perhaps today, after a poor night’s sleep, I was feeling less tolerant. 🙂

      Although, having said that, today was only one of many days when I have been struck by the inherent rudeness which seems to pervade this city.

      Perhaps it is time to move to the seaside!!!
      The rudeness of the herring gulls seems at least more honest than the rudeness of the people in the city!! 🙂

      Love you loads

  4. So sad that this is true, but so wonderfully told. What happened to plain old niceness? Hugs David!

  5. Hummm! Well I guess then that forgotten good manners is a world wide phenomenon.

  6. Well portrayed David as many of us come across this lack of politeness, consideration & respect more & more these days. It is heart warming when we can convey & recieve it, though (:

    • Thank you Jeff,

      And it is heart warming when we can pass some of it around.
      Even if it is only to say hello and to smile at those we meet on our walks

      Best wishes to you


  7. Sad but nevertheless true, David. Well conveyed in your poem. The rat race is still on… every body is much more in a hurry… however I don’t think that we should less politer 🙂
    groetjes, Francina

    • Ah Francina, it is sad.

      And what is even sadder is that it does seem to be a world wide phenomenon. (Spell checker just corrected me when I typed in that word – that’s nice!)

      And I do try to ensure that I remain polite.
      Perhaps if we all do it we can help to change the world!! 🙂

      Best wishes


  8. Hi David,

    I can envisage you on your walks taking in your surrounds. This is a lovely written poem but the truth in it so sad.
    It is unfortunate that too often we come across rudness and a lack of consideration.
    I always walk with a smile and a greeting. I feel blessed that it’s the done thing my way and that overall people are friendly.
    One of the benefits of living in a tourist town. Everytime I go to the city though, it reminds me how easy one can feel alone and how quickly it can feel hostile.
    I feel blessed to live where I do. 🙂

    Wishing you a good weekend!
    Take good care of yourself.

    And K’sOTC 🙂

    • Hi Tikarma,

      You are blessed to live where you do.

      I notice it too when I visit Whitby (another tourist town).
      And most noticeably when I last visited Belfast (which is not a tourist town) where good habits still predominate.

      It costs nothing to smile and to react politely.

      Yet it is so sad that when I encounter it I am surprised because it is so rare.

      In this country recently we had a woman who was talking on her mobile phone whilst being served at the check out.
      The check out operator refused to serve her until she got off the phone.
      The woman then complained to the management about the check out operator’s behaviour!!!!
      Who are these people!!!!

      But I shall continue to smile at those people I meet. 🙂

      You look after yourself

      And K’sOTC 🙂

      • OMG!! Who are these people indeed!
        And it’s been said folk in country towns are weird. *shakes head*
        Good manners and a friendly smile for myself are as natural as breathing . Very sad indeed.

        Keep on smiling. 🙂

        And K’sOTC : -)

  9. You could be here tripping over the Merci beaucoup’s and the S’il vous plaîts…
    It isn’t Whitby but we do have gulls! 🙂

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