it seems to me that rudeness often goes hand-in-hand with arrogance. we see this in the way people who believe that their station is above that of another speak to those they consider "beneath them." for instance, a waitress may be treated rudely by a patron who seemingly has no respect for the waitress, regarding her as an object rather than a person worthy of consideration. an employer may belittle an employee because of some perceived failing, knowing that the employee likely has no recourse because of the employee's dependence on the income from his job.
those who consistently treat others rudely are betraying a lack of empathy for others, considering these others as conveniences whose humanity is of little consequence. i remember a friend telling of a woman with whom the friend played bridge from time to time. this woman spoke curtly, often cruelly, to the wait-staff at the establishment where they played bridge, and once when a person who was dressed shabbily happened to come into the room where they played bridge, this woman rose from her table and addressed the poorly-dressed intruder with utter contempt, ordering him from their presence. my friend said that this was the last time she played bridge with this woman.
we've all witnessed this sort of behavior. most of us don't have the courage to speak up when this happens, and, in so doing, we participate in the rudeness. we are all guilty of being rude from time to time, forgetting that, despite outward appearances or station, we are all the same. perhaps, we are so absorbed in our own problems and circumstances, or are angry at some other event in our lives, that we forget ourselves and are rude to another. but there is never an excuse for rudeness or for tolerating the rudeness of another. we cannot love ourselves or others and be rude at the same time.
may we remember that love and rudeness are mutually exclusive. may we treat others as we want to be treated, respecting each person and regarding each person as being worthy of our consideration and respect. shalom.