Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Potter's politeness

Let us return to the world of magical Mr. (Adam) Potter who survived a 1,000ft fall from Sgurr Choinnich Mor in January (see He has been hitting the headlines once again as he prepares to tackle Mount Everest in the near future. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this story has been the media reaction. This heart-warming tale of good fortune has naturally been a hit with the press and public alike. However recent headlines, particularly from Scottish papers such as the Glaswegian and The Scottish Daily Record, have been concerned with Potter’s return to thank his rescuers. This writer is all for politeness and clearly it is a good, honourable and right thing for Mr. Potter to do, but should it be so surprising that it is newsworthy? As a child I was rewarded with stars on my star chart for saying “please” and “thank you” (and for being nice to my sister, sharing my toys and tidying my room for that matter) but have we reached a point in society when someone saying “thank you” is so rare that it deserves to be headline news? Are headlines the new star chart? Perhaps this story says less about Adam Potter doing the right thing than about others not doing it!

(Picture on Wikimedia Commons: Lerian)

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