Most of us grew up being taught good manners and right conduct—it was a subject in grade school, even. There are also signs everywhere, telling us what we should do and what rules we should abide by. Despite that fact, there’s still garbage on the streets, irresponsible pedestrians who ignore traffic lights, men peeing on walls, and vandalism on bus seats and bathroom doors. How come, even though we know it’s something improper and frowned upon, we still do trivial acts of indecency?
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean “flashing me your penis” kind of indecent, but rather the simple rude things people think they can get away with every single day without anyone giving a damn. Take for what happened to me earlier this month. While I was choosing a bus decent enough to ride to school without having to worry about the scorching heat, stuck in place due to the two heavy paper bags I was lugging around, a man from a passing open-air bus spat on the street shamelessly. Unfortunately, his revolting glob of mess landed on my pant leg. Who does that? What, too lazy to whip out your handkerchief? Can’t your spit wait until you get off at the next bus stop so you can aim it at a trash bin instead of an innocent bystander’s leg? The only thing that stopped me from screaming out profanities was the fact that masses of people were elbowing each other to get to the other side of the highway populated with various “no jaywalking” signs.
Which made me remember another instance—the way passengers on the LRT and MRT act. There are people who want to get on the train so bad, they elbow their way through troves of people who need to get out of the train. These people who seem to care only for their own personal space and are not mindful of anyone else’s. People who ignore queues as if they didn’t have a purpose. How hard is it to understand: when someone is lined up at the LRT stop, you get behind that person and respect the fact that he got there first. Don’t sneak up beside him in the hopes that you beat him to the door opening for a better seating opportunity.
Why do these things still happen? Maybe it’s a force of habit or the fact that we see a lot of people get away with it so often that we think it’s all right. Whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter. Rudeness will never have a legitimate excuse, at least in my books.
We’ve got to stop being crass and start becoming more aware of our surroundings. Just look around you—doesn’t the sight of chaos and filth make you want to be a better citizen, a better member of the human race? If that doesn’t do it, give the Golden Rule a shot. If you don’t want someone’s spit to be on you, then I guess you’d have to hold yours in for the time being.
(Published in The Benildean, the official college paper of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde)