Here are 13 subjects we tackle in modern society that were before Benjaman Franklin’s time:
Brendan’s 13 Virtuous Updates for Modern Living
- Cellphones. Never speak on your cellphone during a seated meal. Never speak on your cellphone when ordering at a take-out restaurant or purchasing items at a retail store. If your phone has a loud ring tone, do not ignore it on a crowded bus or subway car. If your phone has a speaker-phone, do not use it in public.
- Tipping. Always tip at any restaurant you go to. 10 percent for mediocre service, 15 for decent service, and 20 percent or more for great service. If you order food for delivery, tip your driver. If you are splitting a big delivery order with multiple people, insure that the person who pays doesn’t keep everyone’s contribution to the tip to pay for their own meal (a frequent but shockingly immoral occurrence).
- Elevators. Please, please, please, let the people already on the elevator get off before you attempt to get on.
- Laptops. If you are using your laptop at Starbucks and the battery dies, do not string your charge cord across the floor and expect people to step over it. If you do not have wireless internet, go to Starbucks like everyone else. Do not steal and slow down your neighbor’s internet that they work hard to pay for.
- The Gas Station. If the person ahead of you has already paid and is attempting to put their change into their wallet, wait patiently for them to finish and leave. Do not shoulder your way over to the counter in an effort to be checked out faster.
- Segues. Do not use one of these, ever. It’s called walking. Do it.
- Facebook. Do not post pictures of inebriated people on Facebook without obtaining sober permission. Nobody cares about what celebrities you have awkwardly coerced into taking a picture with you.
- Twitter. Your thoughts are not that important. This goes double for celebrity twitters.
- Driving. If you turn without using your signal, you will eventually be rear-ended, and you deserve it. If you do not dim your brights when passing oncoming traffic, you are a bad person.
- Politics. Please keep your opinions to yourself. You may as well argue over which is better, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, for all the good it is going to do you.
- At a crowded bar: If you are trying to get a drink, and so is someone else who has been waiting longer, redirect the bartender if they mistakenly turn to you first with a simple “They’ve been waiting longer.”
- The bus or subway: This isn’t that modern, but you’d think it was. Please give up your seat for pregnant women, women with children, or the elderly. Obvious but rarely done.
- Jaywalking is illegal. If you walk out in front of a vehicle and they do not allow you to jaywalk, do not give them the stink eye. You are breaking the law, not them.