Recently I went out on a date. I had a nice time and I agreed to see him again. We set a date that would suit both of us and he later texted me to say he was looking forward to seeing me again on that day. And I never heard from him again.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
It became clear several days after our first date, and as they day of our plan second date came and went, that he had changed his mind. Which is fine. Happens to the best of us. But I think he should have at least sent me a quick text saying that he’d changed his mind/had a flat tyre/was busy at work/had to wash his hair or whatever. It would have been slightly awkward but I am a grown up, well experienced in the foibles of the dating world, I would have survived and he had no fear of me sending back a begging text, imploring him to give me just one more chance. Yes, any lame excuse used would have amounted to the same thing, that he didn’t want to go out again. But I think it was spectacularly rude to not let me know.
So I sent a quick text saying I guess you changed your mind, all the best. I got back this looooooong rambling message about how he’d been really sick oh and actually he had met someone else anyway so see you later. Now this just reinforced for me that I’m glad I didn’t waste another evening on him. But it also got me thinking that if only everyone treated each other how they wished to be treated, wouldn’t the world be a nicer place? I’m well aware that there’s a fairly strong Pollyanna streak running through this. The fact is, people often get so caught up in their own stuff that they forget manners and general courtesy. I know that some may say, oh who cares, you’re never going to see that man again, and this is true. But in the days of instant messaging via text and email, how hard is it simply to treat others with respect?
Think about it. How many times have you tried to merge onto the freeway only to have car after car whizz by, leaving you fuming? And yet how many times have you driven past someone clearly trying to merge, telling yourself that your day is really busy and you can’t slow down for every person wanting to merge?
There are many more frivolous examples than the one above, but there are many more serious ones as well, which is why we should do unto others in all of our interactions. I really want to practice this at a greater level than I currently do. By that I mean (and I’m ashamed to admit this), that I will do unto others irrespective of whether I’m in a good mood or not. When someone treats you in the way that you wish to be treated, it makes you feel good about yourself and about the world. You can easily pass this on to others. So I guess I can put a positive spin on my brief interaction with someone who displayed questionable manners, and that is that it’s made me more aware of my own behaviour and that I will continue my efforts to treat others how I hope that they will treat me.