I've been thinking lately how we've lost a lot of nice things in our desire to be quick and streamlined. And while there are times that these aren't possible, I think that there are some lost arts that we as a culture could benefit from.
1. Manners-I go to a school where everyone holds the door open for everyone else. And while there have been times when I've been in too big of a rush to hold the door open for the person five seconds behind me, I feel regret and hope that they don't hate me for not opening the door for them. But when I go to other places, I notice that not everyone does that, not everyone says "excuse me" or "sorry" and I think it's too bad. I try to say "excuse me" when I pass in-front of someone at the grocery story, and I appreciate it when someone says it to me. It shows regard for a stranger.
2. Civility- We live in an age where we can be anonymous online, or at least, talk to people we've never met. If you look in the comment section of pretty much anything you can see arguments and insults. We forget that these usernames that we're interacting with are people too. They woke up this morning, ate breakfast, ran off to work, maybe had a bad day, maybe their kids were sick, maybe they don't know where their next month's rent is going to come from, etc. And we insult them like we have a right to.
Everyone has the right to their own opinion, don't get me wrong. I believe in the right to free speech and while I do believe that everyone has the right to say what they want, even if it offends people, I do think that they should take more personal responsibility and think about what they are saying.
At the same time, just because you're insulted something someone else says, doesn't mean that they can't say it. Free speech is incredibly important and we should value it, even if horrible, ignorant things are said, the benefits to free speech are more than worth it.
3. Thank You Notes- There are lots of occasions to write thank you notes for. Gifts are one of them. And I know that it's not fun to write them, but it's best to write them all as soon as possible to get them in the mail. I've written thank you notes recently for gifts, internships, rides to events, hosts, and scholarships. And I've had a co-worker write me a thank you note for helping her with a campaign. It's nice to receive them and it's nice to send them knowing that it makes you stand out.
4. Conversation- Recently I bought a pair of shoes from Nordstrom. The salesperson was great. He asked me questions that were above and beyond your standard questions. He asked me what the shoes were for (my college graduation) where I went, what degree I was getting, what I wanted to go into, what my dress looked like, etc. He seemed genuinely interested in my life. Which makes him a good salesman. Last year I read a study that found that having a cell phone on a table lowered the quality of your conversation. It's something that I think about pretty much every time I put my phone on the table at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, when I'm eating with friends. I think we should put the phones away and focus on each other, ask each other meaningful questions, find out if there's anything big going on in their lives and how they feel about it and how you can help.
5. Cursive- Remember when your teachers told you that you would be using cursive for the rest of your life? Me too. As soon as I got into high school and wasn't required to use it, I quit using it. But lately I've been using it to write myself reminders and to-do lists. It makes things look prettier and it makes it look like you put more effort into it. When I was writing my scholarship thank you letter, I wrote it all in cursive on my monogrammed stationery. They would have taken it emailed to them, but because this person had donated money that had been awarded to me, I wanted to put effort into my thank you. I wanted them to know how I valued it and I wanted them to keep on donating to future students.
Are there any other lost arts that you can think of?