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The Importance of Manners in Society

Updated on January 2, 2017

I Couldn't Say it Better

Basic Easy "Rules"

Manners Cost Nothing but Reap Great Rewards

Manners are an Important Part of the Foundation of Society


When I was trying to think of a topic to base my 25th article on, I thought of all the interests and passions I have. My answer came to me during a class I volunteer/teach topics for adults trying to acquire their GED. The simple statement of how important manners and etiquette would be and will be when they, the students, start interviewing for jobs utilizing their newly acquired GED took up the entire class. I was amazed how many of my students disagreed. I was "not so mildly shocked" in how many students questioned this. This got me to think of how I have seen "lack of manners" change drastically in my 30+ years of life.

I often think back to the day my father gave me positive reinforcement that would solidify my usage of good manners my entire life. I was 7 years old and I remember it 26 years later like it happened yesterday. It was a Saturday morning. We lived on a farm which had 6,000 chickens along with other livestock. We had just returned from a delivery of eggs and dressed chickens when my father turned into our long driveway. He stopped the car once he was off the road and turned to me. Without missing a beat, he put his arm around me and said how proud he and my mother were after their latest parent/teacher meeting. He said my grade school teacher, Mrs. Kirkland had told my parents that I was the best mannered student she ever had in her 30-40 + years of teaching. He said he felt the "manner report" was as important as my all A's grades. Then he swept me up and placed me on his lap and let me steer the car up the driveway. The excitement of driving the car and making my parents proud is a feeling I will never forget and ingrained into my very being to always use manners and be respectful of others. What a simple but ever so effective teaching tool.

The list of manners that I feel are important for a civilized world is long. I will touch on those that I feel are basic. Always remember: manners/social skills cost nothing to learn or teach but when they are incorporated into ones life, the rewards are invaluable and make the tapestry of life so much richer and beautiful.


THANK YOU


A simple thank you should be so ingrained in ones psyche that it should leave the mouth almost without thinking. Remember, when one does something to help someone, a simple thank you not only shows gratitude to the person who showed kindness but helps cultivate that person to continue to do kindnesses. I'm sorry ladies, but I get so irritated when I hold a door open for a female- or even a male- and not only is there no thank you but sometimes I get an angry look. If you don't want someone to hold a door open for you, then don't pass through. Someone with their hands full and drops something. No one is required to pick it up for that person. When someone does, a smile and a thank you should be given. A phone call received from someone to see how they are doing should merit a thank you. On and on and on and on as the list of examples is endless.


YOU'RE WELCOME


Saying "you're welcome" is a nice way to acknowledge someone who said thank you which encourages the person who did the kindness to continue doing kindnesses. A smile or a nod of the head to the person who said thank you will suffice instead of the words.


EXCUSE ME


In this hustle bustle life, running into people, smacking someone with their grocery cart, "accidently" jutting ahead of someone in line, burping in public, leaving a dining table to run an errand, accidently allowing a door to close on someone's face, and many etc. should always be followed by an excuse me. This to me is as important as thank you. I think having empathy and putting oneself in the "victim's shoes" will help reinforce using these two words.


CELL PHONE USE


One could write an entire book on this but I just wanted to hit on a few that bother me. When one is in public, be it on a bus, waiting room, etc. , talk in a low voice. No one wants to hear about how you hate someone, your sexual exploits, complaints, fighting with whoever you are talking to, etc. That, to me, is just common sense. The icing on the cake is when the person has to yell out four letter words as if they are reciting a nursery rhyme.

Do not have your face in your cell phone walking down the sidewalk oblivious to everyone else
on the sidewalk. The world does not orbit around any one single person. Sidewalks are to be shared. That means not expecting everyone else to get out of your way.


SIDEWALK ETIQUETTE


This one is pretty simple. Again, sidewalks are meant to be shared. One basically walks the same way one drives a car. Stay to the right and pass to the left, opposing "traffic" allowing. When walking in groups of two or more, the larger group need to compromise when opposing pedestrians are coming towards them by breaking formation and allowing the opposing pedestrian traffic to pass. Keeping one's face out of one's smartphone and being aware who and what is around them is self-explanatory. To expect one to move because what one is looking at on their screen is more important is beyond ignorance.







Basic Table Manners

Conclusion

Good social graces- manners- are a topic close to my heart. When I was younger, it was something I took for granted. It seemed most people understood and utilized common sense courtesy. There were always some people who lacked those skills but it seems in the last decade, that group of people has grown exponentially. I have always followed the basic rule that it is better to focus on the we and not the me. Showing courtesy and respect for others takes so little effort and time but it reaps great awards. I will either amend this article to add more topics or write entire articles on other aspects of manners. A good rule of thumb as I alluded to earlier is to put yourself in the other person's shoes. If you have been lacking in manners, maybe with practice, they will emerge again on their own. Thank you!

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    • Peter Grujic profile image
      Author

      Peter Alexander 13 months ago from Pittsburgh

      Thanks Jason- political rhetoric is always bad but it seems the worst it has ever been. Mr. Trump has awoken a segment of society that echo his ultra-negative rhetoric.

      Thanks for reading my article.

      Peter

    • profile image

      Jason Lamovitch 13 months ago

      I enjoyed your article- I have really noticed manners going down hill with the current political rhetoric.

    • Peter Grujic profile image
      Author

      Peter Alexander 15 months ago from Pittsburgh

      Thanks Nancy- As I always say, manners cost nothing but provide so many benefits. I also agree that it goes back to how children are raised.

      Thanks for your insight!!

    • profile image

      Nancy Cottington 15 months ago

      Nice article - I too am tired of the growing lack of manners in our country. It all gies back to the way children are raised today!

    • Peter Grujic profile image
      Author

      Peter Alexander 17 months ago from Pittsburgh

      Thanks Sammy- I appreciate your cheerful and upbeat message. Somehow it turned up under my article on manners- go figure! I hope when you read my Caravaggio article - will like it as well. there are many articles on hub pages that have interesting articles dealing with the arts on many levels. Take care!

    • profile image

      Sammy Todson 17 months ago

      Hey- great article- I'm with you - great artist-great frequent theme= ballet. I see you also wrote about Caravaggio - Will come back to read that too. Keep up the good work.

    • Peter Grujic profile image
      Author

      Peter Alexander 20 months ago from Pittsburgh

      Hi Mr Dayson,

      Sorry it took so long to respond - so very busy- but I also was raised on a farm and people did seem kinder and more mannerly in the country. I fear it is also true that the growing lack of consideration and manners for others is a growing "disease" across all spectrums of society.

      Thank you for you insight and for reading my article.

      Peter Grujic

    • profile image

      Joe Dayson 20 months ago

      Hi- I live out in the country on a farm. I have lived here a long time. I always thought bad manners were corralled in the cities but in the last 10 years I have found some of my new neighbors and the school children more and more rude and selfish. I agree with your article - that manners are important buy unfortunately are getting worse. Thank you

    • Peter Grujic profile image
      Author

      Peter Alexander 21 months ago from Pittsburgh

      Hi Jane,

      I agree with you 100%. Learning and utilizing good manners was part of the norm when I was growing up. Twenty years later it seems a lost art.

      Thanks for your insight and for reading my article.

    • profile image

      Jane Wukovitch 21 months ago

      I agree with you 100%. The lack of manners and respect today is terrible. I get irritated when I express a kindness and the receiving person looks at me like I am from another planet.

      I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    • Peter Grujic profile image
      Author

      Peter Alexander 23 months ago from Pittsburgh

      thank you- I try to write about more down to earth topics while most authors on here write about ethereal, silly topics. Respect for each other I think is an important glue that keeps society together.

    • profile image

      Eduard Gomez 23 months ago

      I enjoy reading your articles. I agree with you- people are ruder, angrier and less patient now. People are more courteous to their cell phones than the person sitting next to them,