Dawn DeVries Sokol


On Civility

With going to a place like DisneyWorld comes major human interaction. As a freelancer working at home, human interaction is close to none. Yes, I email and I talk on the phone, but I’m not around people a lot. I’ve always been interested in watching people. And the recent lack of civility is painfully obvious.

When did we forget to consider those around us? Not just our relatives, friends, etc., but the PEOPLE around us who also exist on this Earth? I see it when out driving the mean streets of Arizona and mostly when I’m traveling. People who run into others, people who fail to apologize, people who can’t stop talking during a movie, people who talk on their cell phones as if everyone around them REALLY wants to hear their end of the conversation, people cutting in front of others in lines, stopping in front of others, ramming strollers into others...

It makes me tired just writing this! Hubby and I have been to DisneyWorld many times. The Magic Kingdom is always the last park we hit. Now we’ve realized why. The people IN IT make us want to go home.

The Magic Kingdom is the true heart of DisneyWorld. It’s where it all began and epitomizes Disney. It’s appropriate for ALL ages. Therefore, it’s the busiest of all the parks. It’s clogged like an artery with people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and geography. It’s the melting pot.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Magic Kingdom and all that it encompasses. But it seems to be where the worst comes out of people at DisneyWorld.

Case in point: Hubby and I went into the Hall of Presidents, which we love. But we hadn’t seen it since they refurbished it to accommodate President Obama. So we went into the lobby and waited.

While we waited, we joked around with Mickey Mouse, who was dressed as a patriot and waiting for guests to come in and take professional photos with him. Disney does this through special packages they make available to their guests. Because of this, he was in a roped-off area, inaccessible to us. So we joked and “chatted” over the ropes. We took distant pictures with him. It was fun!

Once in the theater, we sat down in the middle of a row of seats and proceeded to watch a film on the history of the U.S. presidents. On the other side of Hubby sat an older man, his wife, and what appeared to be their grandson. His wife decided to LOUDLY start talking during the film, which started ticking me off. I let it go. She continued. I looked over at Hubby. He looked annoyed. So I leaned over and shushed at her. Politely. As if to say, please stop talking so we can hear. Which usually works.

She started talking again. And again I shushed her. Her husband looked over at me but didn’t quiet her. Finally, I asked her to stop talking so others could hear the film. She stopped. Then she started again. Hubby looked over at her and asked her politely to please stop talking. Then her husband said to Hubby, “Maybe you should just listen.” Excuse me???

Hubby turned away with his eyebrows raised like, “WTH?” So I turned to her husband and said LOUDLY, “Well, if SHE stopped talking, maybe the rest of us COULD listen to the film!”

What the hell, people?

As if it was OUR fault we weren’t listening to the movie because SHE was talking so loud. The people in front of her turned around to give her an admonishing look, too.

And it wasn’t only that this person tried to turn his wife’s actions around on us. It was that there were a lot of other people there. They all paid good money to be there. They didn’t pay that money to hear your wife ramble on. They all traveled far and wide to be there. They all wanted a fun experience, too.

To top it all off, this was Valentine’s Day, a day of love. Not that we shouldn’t love one another every day, but come on. What happened to “Love thy neighbor”? Love is coupled with respect and consideration.

We fumed for a while after that stumbling block. A couple of hours later we headed back to our hotel to quickly change for dinner. From our room, we headed back down the hallway to the elevator. In that hallway, a quick little action from another Disney guest renewed my belief in humanity. Two little boys were walking past us, both with painted faces. The older was probably around 10, the younger around 7. The older one didn’t look happy. But the younger one looked over at me and as he passed me, smiled and waved. I returned the sentiment and began to feel good again. That little guy has NO idea what he did to my mood or my overall feeling of the trip that night. He helped me to believe in civility again. He made me realize that it’s still out there, we just have to be aware that it is and not take it for granted when it is sent our way. And that politeness and consideration matter more than those who are all about themselves. We can’t boil over from the ones who aren’t civil because that passes on through our behavior.

So smile and wave to a passerby today. One little action. You really don’t know how much you’ll brighten their day and outlook on life!

LifeDawn Sokol5 Comments