Jingle, jingle, ching, ching…. flip FLOP, flip FLOP… thwap…SIGH…PLOP. Fifteen minutes into Yoga class, the door opened and not only filled the room with unwelcome light, but the latecomer to the class chose to set up her space on the opposite side of the room and right next to me.
Even if you’ve never taken a Yoga class you’d probably guess that it’s a quiet practice and the sounds of keys jingling, flip flops flapping, mats unrolling, and bodies plopping after the class has started, isn’t conducive to the meditation. I tried my best to keep my eyes forward and remain ‘in the moment,’ but I’m certain that I let an ‘un-yoga-like’ glare or two escape her way.
I was already on a kick about gym manners after my recent experience in the exercise room at work. I won’t say that the experience was more annoying than someone talking on their cell phone while walking on the treadmill (which was also going on) but the periodic eruption of laughter from the guy on the elliptical next to me was only slightly more tolerable.
I generally think most people could use an overhaul in the manners department. Almost daily you can read an article about work/cubicle etiquette, internet protocol, how much to tip, and even divorce decorum. Granted some of it is obscure and not all that useful, like according to Foodies who follow Emily Post, there are times where it’s appropriate to use a fork while eating bacon. (Who knew?).
In spite of the plethora of articles, posts, and advice columns, as a culture, we don’t seem to ‘get it’ and rudeness abounds.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I have no desire to hear one side of a conversation about a stranger’s marital problems, medical issues, or plans for the weekend, nor do I care to listen to someone’s personal laugh track as they watch their favorite sitcom while they are plugged into an iPhone. And goodness knows that no one wants to hear me sing along at the top of my lungs to my favorite playlist.
It seems pretty simple to me and boils down to common sense and a couple of basic principles: be aware of your surroundings and treat others as you would want them to treat you. After all, aren’t those things we all learned in kindergarten?