Common Sense and Courtesy Is Not Old News
It seems like these days everyone is switching things up but at some point many revert back to the old-fashioned ways of doing things because they seem like the right way to go.
When I’m in the kitchen creating a new recipe in the back of my mind I’m always thinking about the old-fashioned way and how it was done back when my parents and grandparents were younger.
If you want to talk to someone these days jump online to Facebook chat, Twitter or hook up via SMS to text someone rather than picking up the phone or sending a letter in the post. Spending money to have fun is more important than a simple walk on the beach or through trails to enjoy nature and spending time talking about life with your loved one or family.
Money seems to make the world go round but that’s all it does, it goes round and round and round and doesn’t know when to stop. Times have changed and modern society values have changed alongside but how far is too far before we teeter on the edge of forgetting old-time values in our lives? Old-fashioned values are still received and given well and certainly very relevant in today’s society but like they used to be.
Old-fashioned values definition?
It really depends on the way you were brought up but for me old-fashioned values are the ways my parents taught me to be the best person I could be. I was taught to respect my elders, say please and thank-you, sorry if I made a mistake and to help when needed even if there was no monetary return.
The reason I wanted to talk about old-fashioned family values today is because I noticed something the other day and it came about from my neighbours believe it or not. Our one neighbour is dying of lung cancer and is in the hospital and his wife looks like she is run ragged. We don’t talk much to our neighbours because sometimes their kid drives us around the bend so we tend to keep to ourselves.
This past summer I noticed the tree on their property had the branches leaning on top of our roof and that our joining wood fence was leaning over I knew we needed to get some work done. I was hesitant since the summer before I had asked if he wanted to help preserve the fence and he said no to chipping in $50 so I never really said much to him again.
When I was landscaping my front property this summer he came over to talk to me. He was watching move those huge landscaping rocks on my own and said there was no way he could ever do that. I figured he was simply meaning that he was too old and that was it.
We talked about the fence post and he said he would chip in to get a new one and I said I’d do the work since he didn’t look in much shape to do anything. He was fine with that. Now I know that he is dying of lung cancer and although I could tell he didn’t look particularly healthy there are many invisible illnesses out there that we fail to see or people are judged by because people can’t see them and don’t understand why people can’t do things.
I guess not judging anyone is the best way to go but offering a helping hand isn’t so bad after all. You never know how much they will appreciate it especially when most people keep their weaknesses and inner demons away from the public eye.
We had a breakthrough moment as neighbours during that conversation and it reminded me about how my parents taught me to say hello, good-bye, good-morning and to respect others like I want them to treat me.
Teaching kid’s values when they are young like my parents did will take them far in life but sometimes it may not come to us right away, sometimes it’s a particular situation that will remind us what our parents wanted us to carry forward in life. For others, well they are just genuinely on top of their game when it comes to courtesy and respect and I commend them for that.
I’ve since gone on my roof and cut the branches of his tree for him and to protect my roof as well. His wife came over to knock on our door to ask for help the other day. My wife and I were surprised but she told us she had exhausted all her friends and family and needed a favour from us.
She said she is spending all her time at the hospital with her husband and that she needed to leave a key with us if we were going to be home so a company that brought medical equipment to the house for her husband could be picked up. You could see the pain and hurt and tiredness in her eyes.
She said the house is a mess and her son is in there but she doesn’t have time to deal with that right now. He’s old enough to be left on his own so I’m assuming it was the cleaning she was talking about.
My wife looked her in the eyes and said, “Come here, give me a hug” and whispered in her ear, anything you need you tell me and I’ll help you. I think our neighbour wanted to cry but she held back. She thanked us over and over and we said don’t mention it, anything she needed. Now, the other neighbours on either side of us have also come together because they want to help them out.
They want to know how he is doing and what they can do to make life a bit easier for them. One lady offered to go in and clean her house for her and cook meals if she needed or to do her grocery shopping. Our other neighbour wants to send a card to say that they are thinking about them during this painful time in their lives. My ill neighbour is still very young in his 50’s.
He quit smoking 10 years ago but by then it was too late, the damage had already been done. I am so thankful every day that I had the strength to quit smoking. I know that many people can get lung cancer for various reasons and others who have never smoked a day in their lives get it. I’m just happy that I quit knowing that it can hurt me and I’ve taken that risk out of the picture now.
Not everything is valued by money
In the winter I remember a time when the wife and I were on holidays and we came back to a snowy blizzard and when we pulled on to our street we had noticed that our neighbour had come out to snow plow our driveway. He knew we were away and wanted to help, which really did bring a tear to my eye.
So many people are in a rush these days that the small things mean nothing and if they do find the time to do something or help someone they want a monetary return for their time. Not everything has to be valued by money.
Just this past weekend that same neighbour who shovelled our drive wanted to know if I could feed his cat for a couple of days while he went away with his mates for a few nights of fun on the town. I had no problems doing that and it was nice to give back and it feels good.
It’s just another reason why volunteering for many people is a big part of their lives because of the ‘feel good’ you get when you see others smile or know what you are doing is going to make someone’s day even if you never meet them.
Ever notice how many people don’t have a minute to live when they are driving or doing what they need to get done while they are out and about. How often do you let someone in when there is traffic is backed up or leave a space so someone can pull out from a parking lot onto the road?
I see it all the time and shake my head when people block exits at intersections so cars can’t get out instead of backing up to leave a gap so they can pull out while I wait for a red light. That’s common courtesy but I’ve been hard pressed to see it happen let alone people giving the nod to say thanks.
There never seems to be enough time our lives anymore. Is that the truth or are we not planning our time wisely these day especially when technology has soaked up hours upon hours for people when back in the day that didn’t exist.
How many times have you allowed someone who has a couple of items in line at the grocery store go ahead of you if you had a full cart or gave up your seat on the bus for a pregnant woman, elderly person or someone with a visible disability or simply asked for your seat?
I open the door for anyone and everyone I can when the opportunity presents itself because that is the right thing to do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had doors slammed in my face or people just not caring at all about who is behind them. People ignore me when I say good morning as if I’m someone with an agenda and smiling for some is a thing of the past. Manners should be free to give and to get.
Another area of value comes in the form of conveniences in our lives. There used to be a time when cooking homemade meals in the kitchen was valued by the family as was sitting at the table to eat a meal as a family.
I would always help my mother prepare food, set the table and made sure to keep my elbows off the table and never speak with my mouth full, interrupt a conversation or speak when adults were speaking. Cleaning the house was done by both my parents and us kids even though my mum and dad owned 2 businesses and dad worked full-time.
Mum didn’t hire a maid to come and clean she made sure to prioritize her time so it did get done. My father always helped to clean, do laundry and wash dishes and likely why I do this with my wife today.
When you work as a team you get more done as long as you are both on the same page. I will watch television when my jobs are done but until then life takes top priority over just doing nothing but having a laugh at watching the television or sleeping all day on my day off.
These simplistic ways for many are a thing of the past. Fast foods, hiring people to do the small things like clean, cut the lawn, trim the hedges, pick weeds, wash windows etc. when most are able-bodied do take precedence when they are presented as a convenience to free up time for them but at a cost often well above what they could have done on their own. Times sure have changed don’t you think?
The only rules there are in our lives are the ones that we put forth on our own. We calculate what is best for us and whether it will make a difference to our family, friends and strangers we meet on the streets.
You might not get rich from old-fashioned values but that is not the point it’s just supposed to make you feel better and a great way to pass on what so many people are failing to do in today’s society because our heads are buried in smart phones and our eyes are not on the road.
When serendipity is on your door step don’t close the door before it’s even opened or better yet don’t forget that love takes time and it takes work to make it last. Don’t forget in your busy world to take a moment to tell the people in your life you care and most of all the person you are in love with how much they mean to you even if that means writing an old-fashioned love letter, leaving notes for them to find, kissing them while they are sleeping or simply looking them in the eyes and reminding them you are their forever.
Forgetting about the people who were right there all along might mean you forget that mirror staring back at you. Don’t be shy to do all the things that two people in love would do because chances are they are hoping and praying that you will be romantic and show them you are romantic and it goes both ways. Love is not one-side nor is romance.
There’s nothing old-fashioned about being old-fashioned in love but there is something to be said about forgetting about replacing the simple life with a skewed vision of the life we tend to create for ourselves. Fight for love, fight for what you want before you miss that chance. Love costs nothing but your heart.
Keep your head up people and embrace the world around you because one day you might want to run into someone who will hold the door open for you because you can’t or say hello because you are all alone in the world when everyone else you love is gone.
Do you think old-fashioned values are worth anything today?
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