03/29/2015 10:53 EDT | Updated 05/29/2015 05:59 EDT

Can You Be Polite For Seven Days? Take My Challenge

Steve Debenport via Getty Images

I hope that manners are the next cool trend.

I'm not old (yet), but I'm old enough to notice that the pleasantries of please and thank you are all but gone. Letting the older lady have a seat on the bus is a rare practice indeed, and holding the door open for someone happens only in the movies these days.

Recently, I was in the grocery store spending what I considered to be a large amount of money. I am friendly, chatty and polite. My cashier wasn't interested at all. When I paid her and said, "Thank you," all I got back was an "Un-huh," with no eye contact whatsoever.

I was waiting for an elevator and was pushed aside by a woman and her stroller as she felt the need to get in the elevator first, although she wasn't first in line.

Even servers at restaurants, who depend on tips, and who should know how important it is to be polite seem to treat my request for a glass of water as an inconvenience.

What has happened that we have forgotten the simple pleases and thank-yous?

Let's start this new trend together. For the next seven days, make a point to be polite and use manners that would make your grandmother smile.

• Make eye contact with everyone you meet.

• Say "Hello" three times per day to strangers.

• Look behind you when you open a door to see if there is anyone else nearby, and be willing to wait for them to get to the door before you walk away.

• Let someone in during rush hour.

• Make sure your headphones are not blaring your music for all to hear.

• Have your cell phone conversations in a private area, not a public area.

• Stop swearing in public (stop swearing altogether, really).

• Be sure to say "Thank you" several times a day, and if you have solid eye contact, smile when they say "You're welcome."

Okay, they probably won't say "You're welcome," but smile as though they did anyway. And don't be rude and disrespectful if you get an "Un-huh" back.

Just being aware that manners are a lost art makes you more conscious of using them.

Be polite. And thank you for doing so.


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