Monday, January 31, 2011

Whatever Happened to the Question Mark?

Ah, the question mark—crooked line with a dot at the bottom. I still see it in print, but I do not hear it as often as I once did. It was used in such sentences as: May I help you? How do you feel? What do you think? Will you…? Could you…? And so many more. I do not know why it disappeared the way it has, but I wish it would come back.

What happened to make us such a demanding society? Where did the courtesy go? The smiles? The common concern? Recently I went to a grocery store in Dothan. As I entered, there were three “counters” with two employees each—presumably a bagger and a checker. Slowly as I walk, I had ample time to cast smiling glances at each. No one smiled back. I even nodded when I smiled—no returned nods. That made me notice—and the entire time I was in the store, not one employee smiled, nodded, asked if I needed assistance, or anything. The teenage boy who checked me out was far too busy flirting and bumping himself against the teenage girl who should have been bagging my groceries to even say thank-you for shopping with us! Things have surely come a long way—in the wrong direction— since my high school days at the Rebel Market in Piggott, AR!

Niceness—what a lovely concept! Let us remember to ask and not demand. Let us remember to be helpful, kind, courteous, concerned, and etc. Smiles, like the measles, are contagious… only, in a good way. May God Bless You as You Study and Obey His Word.

- Tim Smith; via the Belvedere Beacon, the weekly bulletin of the Belvedere church of Christ, Belvedere, SC. Ken Chumbley preaches for this congregation, and he may be contacted at their website:

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