I have mused over why this is so. I think it is partly due to the fact that we live in a relatively conservative part of Western Australia. Most people have been brought up with an emphasis on the old fashioned ideal of manners. It extends beyond the common day to day courtesies of pleases and thank yous. People help each other. It would be rare to have someone not hold a door for you or not help you if you are carrying something heavy.
Greeting people is another very strong custom. As you walk down our main street it is usual to smile, nod and say hello. If you know the other person's name, you use it. The Farmchildren have become very adept at this, readily saying hello to all passers by. This has hilarious results when I take them to The City. They busily smile and say hello. Some people respond, some don't. It reminds me of the scene in the Crocodile Dundee movie where Paul Hogan is wandering through Manhattan "g'daying" everyone.
Driving is similar. We all have local number plates. It is usual, and expected, if you pass someone with a similar plate to wave. The style of wave always makes me smile. So that both hands are kept on the wheel, the wave is often reduced to just lifting a finger from the steering wheel.
|Demonstration of Country Wave Whilst Driving|
|Enthusiastic Country Wave|
While it may not look like much effort has been made, it would be noticed if this wave didn't occur!
Likewise you would always stop to offer assistance to anyone on the side of the road. A pregnant friend of mine tried to get in the habit of going for a daily walk along a road near their farm. She gave up in the end because so many people stopped to ask if she needed a lift.
People tend to live in our district for a long period of time. I wonder if people being generally well- mannered is a result of this. If you offend someone, you will still see them several times a week for many years to come. Perhaps living together in small community requires more thought and care than living a more anonymous life in a bigger town or city. Likewise I do think that sometimes when expectations are high, people will try and live up to them.
As always there are exceptions and some people will always be bad mannered. I think that is just human nature. Overall though, I enjoy the feeling of community and level of courtesy that occurs on a day to day basis.
On that note, thank you for reading and I hope you all have a lovely day...