Why Don't People Say Excuse Me?

   I love my city. If you know me at all, even casually, you know this beyond the shadow of a doubt. Its gritty and unique and full of diversity, wonder, and even bliss, if you should choose to notice it. People come from far and wide to taste its magic and its power, and they will pay whatever it costs. There is no season to come to NYC, we are the master season each and every day. That's not to say that it might be a bit more pleasant in the spring and summer, but even that is still an opinion. I know plenty of people who love the winter in NYC. It's cozy and full of lights and snow and holiday spirit. It's not for everyone, but its for me.

    So on to the main course. I was standing on the platform of the train stop and people were walking by me and I was also walking. Its after rush hour, however, NYC is the kind of city that is sort of always busy. I am constantly watching people. It's the sport that keeps on giving. So out of nowhere, a guy politely introduces himself to me and asked me the question, "Why don't people know how to say excuse me?" I was caught off guard by his question at first, but then I realized why he had asked that. A woman basically just pushed her way passed him and I and it was almost as if he was about to go flat out postal, but he asked me that question instead. Why did he pick me? Do I look like I have the answer to that question? Obviously, I do. We spoke for one full train stop after we entered the train and then shook hands and went our separate ways. He had a point and I was glad to have marinated a bit on this topic with him.

     It's not hard to be polite. I believe its actually harder to be rude. However, there are many people who are wired to push buttons on other people and to just plow through life with no intention of even attempting to be nice. A simple excuse me is all that anyone needs in this life when the vibration changes or things feel out of sorts. That woman could have left a completely different impression on us, yet she chose not to. On the other hand, we don't know what she was dealing with to even do that. We witnessed it and took it a certain way. She dished it out and probably didn't think about it at all. Either way, impressions were made and feedback was rendered. So why don't people say excuse me? My answer is simple. I can't control other people. I can only control me. I say excuse me maybe 10 or more times a day. It's New York City. If you don't say it, you may get a look, or some choice words, or maybe even a little nudge back. Incidentally, as the train stopped about 3 station from there, the doors opened and two rats were walking on the platform right as the passengers exited. Neither one of them said excuse me, yet all of the people moved immediately to the left. You think those people were mad? What a town. Thanks for your presence.



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