This viral video proves it: Keanu Reeves is a better man than you.
Clearly, I'm not talking about his acting prowess -- if you can muster any emotional depth beyond some version of "stunned confusion" it's safe to say that you have more acting depth than Mr. Reeves. No, I'm talking about something he has that most men these days don't: Manners.
Look at Keanu Reeves there, giving up his seat for a lady.
Neo, ladies and gentlemen, has manners. And I'd argue that this video is shocking and interesting to YouTube viewers, not because it's Keanu Reeves, but because it's such a rarity. What I mean is that, so rare is it for a man to give up his seat for a woman on the subway that a video of a celebrity doing it has three million views.
I imagine that those views represent 1.5 million women nostalgic for chivalry and 1.5 million men confused as to why Johnny Mnemonic would give up his comfy spot (and I'd allow for a margin of error of about 10,000 views that represent Gary Busey desperately looking for news of a Point Break sequel).
Because, let's face it, the truth is (and forgive me for sounding like an old man) that men simply don't behave like gentlemen anymore. At a time when our male role models are fist-pumping, spray-tanned goons, it's safe to say that the manners of this generation's men have begun a definite and noticeable slide.
And so I ask you, as we prepare to make some resolutions for the new year, that you consider making a concerted effort to behave just a little more like Theodore S. Logan.
To help you get started, I've created a little list. There's nothing too difficult here. In fact, it's probably all stuff you already know, but I just feel like we could all use a little refresher.
This year, let's go out into the world with a little more courtesy and a willingness to be a little more polite and patient with our fellow humans. In short, let's make an effort to be more like Keanu.
Take Your Hat Off
In virtually any situation that you find yourself seated and dining, it's inappropriate to be wearing a hat. At your in-laws for Sunday dinner or out on a date with a lady are not situations where wearing a baseball cap is appropriate. Sorry, but you look like a jackass.
If there are peanut shells on the floor of the establishment you're in and there is a football game blaring on a big screen over the bar, by all means, keep your Argos cap on. In any other dining circumstances, lose the lid.
Pick Up The Tab
Sure, modern women may make the claim that they prefer to go Dutch or that they too can pick up the tab sometimes and I appreciate that. But really, who doesn't like having things bought for them? You're on a date for crying out loud. Offer to buy the girl dinner.
And this doesn't just apply to women.
Other men will appreciate if you pick up the tab now and then, too. Why not? You're a grown-up, you've got a few dollars. If they're good friends, they'll likely return the favour soon enough.
Show up to a friend's house with a case of beer or a nice bottle of scotch. After all, he is your friend, right?
Say Please and Thank You
Just do it. All the time.
It was probably the first manners lesson you ever learned. How have you forgotten it?
Obviously you tip your server at a restaurant. Servers count on their tips and, most of the time, the job sucks. So tip always and tip generously.
But why not also tip other professions that may not traditionally expect tips?
A tip should be made in recognition of good service, so why not tip the guy that shows you to your seats at the ball game? Or the guy who tailored your suit? The concierge recommended a good restaurant? Tip her, man.
Not only is it a classy gesture to reward good customer service, in the end it also helps you. If you've had a few beers and want to pop out for a smoke during the Jays game, who do you think is going to be ready and willing to help you find an exit you can sneak back into? Who's going to get better and faster service next time you show up to that same tailor at the same time as another guy?
When it's deserved, tip!
Turn Your F---ing Phone Off
Stop texting, checking your voice mail, and reading your email. Give the person you're with your undivided attention.
Should I just start reading a book next time you're talking to me? Because it's pretty much the same thing.
Unless you're expecting a life-or-death phone call, it can probably wait until you're alone. The person you're with probably wants to talk to you, not the top of your head, so turn your phone off.
Hold The Door
If someone is right behind you or approaching the door from the other side, open it for them. It's not difficult, it's not going to slow you down much and it's virtually always appreciated.
These are just a few basics to help get us back on the right track. I hope I've helped us all to be just a little more polite this year. And if you're ever in doubt, just ask yourself, what would Keanu do?