Manners – a lost art?

Today, while standing in a store aisle and surveying the assortment of paint on shelves, a store employee said as he passed by in front of me, “Excuse me”. I smiled with appreciation at the gentleman’s manners, for it’s been some time since anything like this has happened. Generally in a store aisle, a person will pass in front of another, sometimes twisting his/her body so as not to make physical contact, but more often just push through. I’ve seldom heard ‘excuse me’.

Have we lost manners, general courtesies, a need or desire to simply be polite? I hope not. It’s graces like excuse me that help to make one’s day more pleasant, help to establish social culture, and help to put a smile on one’s face.