Monday, February 5, 2007


The bright red finish and the cardboard license plates were clear indicators that the car in the restaurant parking lot was new. The owner must have panicked when he saw me park right beside his new toy. Quickly he ran out, gave me a dirty look then moved his car and parked it again at an odd angle blocking three parking places.
The plot thickens at this point because the manager of the restaurant quietly asked the man to park his car correctly. He arrogantly replied: “I don’t want some jerk (Did he mean me?) hitting my brand new car. Besides, your food in this place is awful.” (Colorful language edited.) The manager smiled and offered to refund his money. The man continued his cursing, snatched the refund and left in a huff.
Unfortunately, the rude guy was accompanied by three young teenagers who were watching and giggling. When told to leave they crammed the rest of the ‘awful’ food in their mouths while laughing about the way their father tough-talked a restaurant manager and received a free meal.
Later the manager said to me: “I don’t get upset when people are rude. It’s my job to deal with all kinds of customers. As a grandfather, however, I cringe to think what lesson the children received from their father’s intimidation tactics. They will likely learn how to treat others from him.”
This is not an isolated incident.
“Nasty Drivers, Irate Parents, a ‘National Problem” was the title of an article in USA Today. A survey revealed the level of rudeness in this country has risen dramatically. Examples include: “Yapping away on a cell phone in public places, weaving in and out of traffic – at 60 mph. and obnoxious behavior by parents watching their children’s sporting events.”
We as adults have great influence on our children’s behavior. The real question is: Will our influence lead children on the right or the wrong path?
I would ask the father: “what did you teach your children? Do you want them to act like you?”
· If you want to get anywhere in this world you do it by rudeness and intimidation?
· I now own a new car so everyone should treat me special?”
· Managers aren’t normal people with real feelings so talk to them accordingly?
One reaction to this story would be to laugh at the rude guy with the new car and go on your way. Yet, how many times have you been rude when good manners could have been your godly witness? How often have you allowed others to be rude without saying anything? “We ought to be vigilantes for kindness and consideration,”

Remember the kids who are sitting at another table whose eyes are upon you. What kind of object lesson will you provide for them to imitate: Kindness or Rudeness? “Teach your children to choose the right path and when they are older, they will remain upon it.”

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