Etiquette takes a holiday

Nov 13, 2019 3:00 AM

Everyone is so connected through cell phones and social media that for an undetermined percentage of them they are actually disconnected.

You do not have to look any further than a typical Saturday doing a little people watching in your local casino.

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Social skills have become nearly extinct or a thing of the past. So many people think it’s OK to talk openly loud on their cell phone about betting on a game or what the spread is, not paying attention to anyone or anything else around them.

You can film a reality show just on elevator/escalator etiquette or people who try to cut the lines just to make a bet. Nobody holds doors for other people. Cursing or swearing in front of seniors and females. Instead of being polite and asking where are today’s sports betting sheets, they demand to be answered right away.

A few weeks ago I watched a teller that was being berated for just saying “good luck” to a customer. The list goes on and on.

This is not just happening in casinos. I live in a high rise with lots of well-to-do Millennials and trust fund kids that don’t even know how to say hello unless it’s through a text. What a difference from a few short years ago. Now you can live in a neighborhood for 10 years with the same neighbors and nobody knows anyone.

My grandfather back in the Bronx placed a pillow on the window sill in his tenement apartment building and patrolled the neighborhood morning till night. He talked or waved to everyone. They all knew him as “Window Sill Petey.” He read three different newspapers cover to cover every day from that window. He also watched up and down the block making sure nothing was out of the ordinary.

For 40 years Little Italy in the Bronx was one of the safest in the five boroughs. Grandpa was partly responsible for that.

On my Dad’s side, I visited my grandparents every summer and often stayed a full month with them. Every night they sat on their porch swing of their Ohio countryside home also reading the newspapers cover to cover. They waved at every single car that drove by. Everyone always waved back too.

They used to send me to the local grocery store and tell the person behind the counter to “put it on their bill,” which they would pay at the end of the month. You just don’t see anything like that anymore.

Just when I thought I lost faith in all humanity, I found a show called The Kindness Diaries on Netflix. This is an incredible journey of one man who sets out to circumnavigate the globe surviving only on the kindness of strangers. The show made me realize there is still a percentage in this world that do care about one another. It also renewed my faith in the bonds that connect people, and inspired me to accept and generate kindness in my own life.

Since I am on this subject, I will be heading to Staten Island in New York next week and the home of my friend Teddy Atlas. He runs a charity like no other. We raise money for people and causes that other large charities turn down. However, unlike those charities that have million-dollar payrolls, our charity has none.

We will be having our annual fundraising dinner on Nov. 21 and will have 30+ celebrities in attendance. For more information or to donate, please visit 

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