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The 'me-first' attitude of most is very disturbing
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You have to wonder what some parents are doing when it comes to parenting.

Perhaps mom and dad were just too tired to raise junior and decided to let TV do it for them. So what was it, the rude sitcoms that taught them that it was funny to make fun of others and talk crude? Or do you suppose fashion and the way people look were taught as more important in life over because of the way shows like Entertainment Tonight went on and on about celebrities? Or do you think our being obsessed with the sex lives of stars and politicians has made us a gossiping people?

We have a generation of people who have no idea what manners or common civility are. They think about themselves and never about others. Their needs reign supreme. Thinking of others is a foreign concept to them. They're rude, insolent, self-serving and lack class in every sense of the word.

I didn't have to go far to see it at play. I stopped into an AM/PM in Ceres recently and was standing at the counter to make a purchase when a male employee said to the female clerk, "What the f--- were they thinking? They don't give a s--- about me."

I'd expect that kind of talk anywhere but now apparently it's okay to talk that way when you're in the employ of a company.

Outside the convenience store the guy next to me in the parking lot was playing his music on his car stereo so deafening loud that it was shaking my chest cavity. But it was the vile contents of what he's playing that shocked me more. This in-my-face display is supposed to impress me? Or is it intended to make me mad? The decibel level is indicative that he could care less for others.

A good friend of mine who lives on Hackett Road had to call police on a recent night because her neighbors were inconsiderately playing music at eardrum busting levels. Ceres police came out promptly and issued a citation for $100 as a lesson in what being a good neighbor means. She was so irritated at their inconsideration - and refusal to turn down the music after she requested them to do so - that she was willing to press for a citizen's arrest and testify in court.

This came two days after another friend told me of an experience he had with his neighbor in another town. My friend walked over to the neighbor who was playing the offensive blast and asked that they turn down the stereo. These people were having a party and did not appreciate my friend's request. They threatened to kick his butt if he called police, which he promptly did. When officers arrived these "brave" young men locked themselves in their house. Deputies waited for them to exit the house to swoop in to take action. During the arrests one decided to take a swing at officers. Three "men" went to jail for resisting officers and one has an assault on an officer charge. Real smart. All they had to do is think of others and turn down the music.

Pride often comes before the fall.

It's really disappointing when you think that the only way to make some people act with consideration is to make it hurt in their pocketbook. I can imagine that the only reason they'll keep the stereo down next time will be because they're be afraid of losing more money, not because it's the right thing to do.

We saw the "me first" attitude on display when the classless couple decided to steal a $1,200 big screen TV from Walmart in 2009. A couple is pushing a cart with the TV toward the exit doors and they're asked by the 76-year-old store greeter to show their receipt. Of course they don't show the receipt because there isn't one as they aren't buying the TV; they're ripping it off. The woman brushes past the greeter as her brave "man" pushes the elderly man to the ground, causing abrasions to his arm and elbow that bled so profusely that he had to be treated by paramedics. The pair load up the TV into a grey-colored van driven up to the front of the store by another male.

It would be nice if our society could make a concerted effort to put manners back in the forefront of the way we raise children. Would it be terribly wrong if schools had a class in societal manners, things we should already know and be putting into practice? Maybe teach that it's well mannered for men to hold doors open for others. That it's proper to watch your mouth around others, or at least apologize when a nasty word slips out. That it's okay to let the man or woman with two items to go ahead of your basket full of groceries. And definitely teach men - like the one who showed up at our front counter one day years ago - that it's not even remotely okay to wear a sexually graphic T shirt depicting male parts while out in public.

I think manners is only part of an overall societal breakdown. We long dispensed with the notion of dressing nicely out in public (if you don't believe me look at all the young ladies wearing PJ bottoms). We seem to expect less from people and that's a shame. I say if we expect more, raise the bar, we just might see a growing trend of people believing in manners again.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at