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Please, Thank you, and Yes m'am...
Good Manners, Never out of date...
I love it when a young person answers me with "Yes M'am."
When I was a young woman of 18 years with two children, I decided I really did want the best for my children, and that included the manners I was taught, that I thought I hated. As my family grew, and I entered the workforce, I noticed that employers always commented about my manners. Friends of my children and their teachers always commended them on their manners. Now I'm not saying that manners make one perfect - no not at all. But they do help open doors. Sometimes a job may come down to a "Thank you M'am/Sir" for this interview, and a thank you card quickly sent.
I have spent a great deal of my life working with younger people, and it always astonishes me when people are so absently rude, and don't acknowledge the small stuff. I hear many women and men tell younger people, "Don't call me sir or m'am - I'm not old enough for that." Do they not realize this is establishing a pattern for respect or disrespect?
Little children 2-3 years old love to practice their manners. It can become a wonderful game over tea time with the dolls. When I worked at the Boys & Girls Club, once a year they had a dinner. The kids would get steak and the adults would get the burgers. Most of the children, ages 8 - 18 didn't know the proper useage of silverware, or placing. So we took a week out, and set up luch time like a fancy meal. The kids were so proud of themselves as they set at tables with some of the wealthiest and respected folks in the community. The funders always commented on the manners of the kids. Seeing some of these children years later, as adults, they always remember those times, and I'm glad to have been a part of their lives. Some are even teaching their children the same things - yea!!
Can you imagine Hillery Clinton going to Korea and not using her "Please and Thank you's", or Condoliza Rice saying "Yeah" to the Prime Minister of England? I think not. From the President of the United States to our local Mayors, they are very quick to use their manners. Young moms and dads, please remember to teach the kids manners. It is little things that go a long way to help them as they mature.