Is Common Courtesy a Dying Dinosaur?
Other examples of no manners
EVER HAD THIS
happen to you? You are in a store, the home of a friend, or even in church and a child with little or no parenting suddenly spies you and sticks their tongue out at you for no reason. How does this make you feel? Good? If you answered good, you have problems.
This action by the ill-mannered child is not her fault. It is the fault of her parents. It falls in one of two categories.
- Her parents either didn't care if she was trained to exercise common courtesy or
- Her parents were so caught-up in their own interests, they left her to her own devices.
In the Victorian Era, it was all about social awareness, public behavior, etiquette exercised by both young men and women and that was the way it was. No one was immune. You either learned how to act around others, or you were punished by your parents.
But, as in all things, time, social opinion, and people's wills do take their toll on the training of young people to use manners, as we called it, and a lax attitude slowly began to seep in (like a King Cobra) and slowly and surely after all of the world wars were fought, manners still had a fighting chance and were recognized as gestures of respect, but during and after Vietnam, "who gives a crap about manners and how 'we' act?" Shouted one horde of hippies after the other.
And that was pretty much it for manners and social etiquette.
I HAVE PERSONALLY SEEN THE FOLLOWING HAPPEN
in stores or in public in my hometown.
- Children, ages six to eight, cursing their parents and slapping at them while their parents only acted like a submissive pet and took it
- Teenagers who are a part of a local non-denominational church group come into our local Walmart Supercenter and tear-down items from the shelves and stand back and laugh. And this is a young Christian? Someone is "dropping the ball," when it comes to teaching
- People throwing empty beer cans out in parking lots in the daytime while our local police just look on and never attempt to arrest them because of local sanctions handed-down by local courts as to what a police officer can and cannot do
- Grown men use curse words like sailors on leave in front of women on sidewalks and in stores--even telling off-color jokes in hopes that women shopping would hear the jokes
- Adults snarling at each other, including senior citizens, while stuck in-line at a local grocery store
- At a high school football game, I heard people using profanities toward coaches, players, and even each other
- Traffic lights and turn signals are of no use where I live. People seldom respect the other driver. It is a matter of survival.
MY DAD, REST HIS SOUL
and my blessed mother, both, tried hard to teach me what manners were and how to use them from an early age. But I admit it, with a lot of guilt, I never used manners that much when I was growing up and today upon surveying my life I feel that I let my parents down because I didn't put their manners lectures into action.
My dad was an Army veteran and many times he would tell me when, as a rebellious pre-teen, "son, if you had been where I have been, you would not be so hateful. Our superiors not only expected, but demanded that we used manners and respect not just with them, but each other."
I never argued with his scolding because I knew that he was right.
So it came a time in my newly-found teenage life that when mother or dad would tell me something to do, it was, "yes, sir," or "yes, ma'am," and what looks came upon their faces. They thought someone (with manners) had kidnapped me and took my place.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD MANNERS
- Allowing a senior citizen go ahead of you in-line at the grocery store
- Speaking softly and with respect to someone older than you
- Downplaying a tot who tries to throw his baby food on you
- Being patient as you can while stuck in ta long line
- Allowing a woman to go ahead of you in line or at an entrance
EXAMPLES OF BAD MANNERS
- Talking extra-loud in church, in public, or at the movies
- Never letting people ahead of you in traffic or in the grocery store
- Giving slow-moving elderly people nasty looks when they hold you up in line
- Barging out of church, stores, or anywhere ahead of anyone
- Eating food in public and throwing wrappers on the ground
I REALIZE THAT
I may have offended some of you who think me to be an old foggie or behind the times in my stance on manners.
If that be the case, I am sorry, but no apology. I, like most of you, were raised to respect older people, property, animals, our water and air, and ourselves, so why am I perching upon my soapbox?
I firmly believe that although "some" segments of manners may be outdated, but if the ones that work were exercised, maybe our communities and towns might have al lower crime rate as well as a low rate of arrests for using illegal drugs.
Then this use of manners would spread within our states, then into our nation and hey, they might infect the entire world.
And what would be wrong with that?