Normally, I don’t fume in public. However, I feel some of the following are good examples of poor behavior.

• Most people don’t care at all who we are talking to, or what we are talking about. Please turn off the cell phones in public places. If you must take a call, please remove yourself from the public areas and speak privately. Consider the cell phone like a body function that is impolite in public. Also, while I’m railing about cell phones, please drive with both hands, or at least one.

• Parents, please talk to your children while you drive them to and from school, games and lessons. If you talk on a cell phone, or you allow them to play games, you miss an opportunityto get to know your children and pass on your ideas and ideals verbally. If you don’t talk with them, you pass on what they assume your ideas and ideals are, by default.

• Why do so many people expect the government to do so much for them? What has happened to self-reliance and self-sufficiency?

• If we spend our retirement as we go, by living beyond our means, using credit, paying interest and unable to delay gratification, it should not surprise us that we don’t have a comfortable retirement.

• Why is common courtesy so uncommon now? How often do you hear “Excuse me,” “Thank you,” “Let me get the door,” or “I’m sorry?” How often do you see someone cut into a line, push another person or speak rudely to a server or attendant?

• What happened to being honest? I both laughed and became sad when I read a study about how often and how many people lie. The statistics were not pleasant to read. More than 2/3 of all people admitted to lying and believing, in certain situations, it was all right to lie. The last question on the questionnaire was “did you lie on this survey?” and a majority said yes!

• Why do so many people believe every word an actor or celebrity says? Aren’t actors people who become famous for how well they can convince us they are something they really aren’t? Don’t they call it acting? Why associate profundity with that ability?

• Political correctness is all about politics and nothing about correctness. Using euphemisms to circumvent more accurate language stifles communication.

• Only spineless people have hidden agendas. If you have a stand on an issue, state it and sign your name. Take the praise or withstand the heat.

Tim O’Brien writes continuing-education courses and presents seminars on stress management.

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