Friday, January 13

Day 13: “Impoliteness is the Mildew of Mankind” – Jasper Fforde

The above quote is taken from a book I am reading called Shades of Grey (author above). However, other than this tiny excerpt, my post has nothing to do with the book. Say the quote out loud. It has a nice ring to it, I think. Impoliteness and mildew are things that I really dislike. One time I lost two pairs of perfectly good (platform) shoes to mildew. I had moved from Los Angeles, California, by way of Sedona, Arizona, to Houston, Texas. The shoes, a black suede pair and a beige suede pair, were sitting in the bottom of my closet wrapped in a plastic bag to keep them “safe” from dust etc. One day I pulled the beige ones out to wear and they were completely molded. They weren’t wet or even slightly damp before I wrapped and put them away. In fact, they had been living in the desert for several years previously and were anything but damp and yet there it was, the mildew that ate my shoes. The black pair were also ruined. I had to throw them out. Such a sad day.

So back to my quote, I was on my way home from work today and I was just about to pass one of the shops on my street as an older couple was leaving it. The woman looked at me as I was approaching and then stepped directly in front of me and stood there. I know I am younger and I have quick reflexes to dodge a person but come on, you don’t have to look directly at me, make eye contact even, and then step right in front of me. I had to come to a stop or I would have run right into her. There was no one walking behind me but it was obviously impossible for her to wait two seconds to allow me to pass before stepping out and completely blocking the sidewalk. This kind of thing makes me crazy. But is it really impoliteness? Inconsiderate, yes. Obliviousness, yes. I don't know for sure but I do know that being impolite takes as much energy as being polite but the benefits of being polite greatly outweigh the benefits of being impolite. When someone is impolite, or rude, it has a way of continuing with the person who was on the receiving end, like a negative pay-it-forward. It is in this manner that impoliteness is like the "Mildew of Mankind." Slowly it eats away at things until they are ruined.

After my encounter I shook it off and kept going, though it was tempting to allow it to affect my evening. No reason to let the mildew ruin another pair of good shoes!

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