I keep hearing about how it is a different time. Translation, we have forgotten how to be considerate, courteous or practice the art of etiquette. I was talking to this couple yesterday expressing my disappointment with a situation that I recently experienced. I explained how I had received a text as a thank you and felt that it was insufficient and inconsiderate.
The lady looks at me and says that her daughter-in law never sent thank you cards after their wedding. Not one person received a thank you and I was shocked. 200 guests and not one thank you. She continued with having three sons and how she tried to inspire them to be courteous after their high school graduations. She even went as far as to addressing all of the thank you cards from their graduations. Hopeful that the boys would take the hint and fill out the cards. She said, she was unwilling to write the cards themselves. And, in my mind, I thought, but they are boys,...hmm, why is that okay? Something else to consider at a later time. I do have male friends that have written me thank you cards, notes, letters so men can and do know how to be courteous.
Her last thought was that she and her husband chose to overlook the lack of etiquette as it is a different time. She doesn't want to upset the balance by pointing out how her daughter-in law is basically terrible at courtesy. They skype or text on a weekly basis and that has become enough. I am on the fence with it. I don't think a text is enough. I take the time to put together something thoughtful and write a card to express the why and I receive a text days later. It's rude.
The best part of the conversation was where she said, I don't think my grandkids will be able to read cursive since they have ipads in their classrooms now. They no longer are taught how to write cursive in school. My response, yea, this person might not have been able to read my handwriting. I am notorious for my handwriting and yet, I still enjoy sending notes, cards, letters. Just yesterday, I took the time to send six cards to people I wanted to thank for their kindness, graciousness and/or generosity. I love receiving cards, too.
I know it is a different time. I see how things change and I have changed, too. I stalk people of social media. I contribute photos, thoughts, etc on a few of the sites. I communicate, daily, via text and rarely leave messages on phones anymore. I know multiple people who do not know how to access their voice mail account. We are reliant on text, sure. However, this does not take substitute the essence of courtesy, etiquette or class.
My last thought is that yes, things have changed. I do not have to sacrifice my values on this to coexist in the reality. I will continue to write cards and make time to do this. I just cannot be so rigid, perhaps, on how others practice kindness.