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Where Have All The Good Manners Gone?

Updated on March 29, 2010

Once upon a time, in the United States of America, children where raised to be respectful, mindful, productive members of society. It used to be that children where taught to say sir, ma'am, please, thank you, let me help you with that, no thanks is necessary, and all with a gracious smile. It used to be that no matter how you felt, you respected your elders. No matter how tired you were, you helped out around the house without mouthing off or muttering. No matter how mad you were, you stood up for your family if anyone else threatened them in any manner.

It used to be that dishonoring your family, or just embarrassing them, was a terrible offense taken none too lightly. It was once considered normal to commit random acts of kindness. Good Samaritans were respected and not ridiculed or sued. At one time, getting an education was paramount and behaving in an uneducated manner was simply inexcusable. Respect was at one time considered everything. You were nothing if your word could not be trusted. It used to be that living by the golden rule of 'do unto others as you would have done unto you' was just what you did, without thought or conscience effort.

In today's modern world, respect is a foreign word with no meaning. Elders are ignorant and get in the way. Technology is equivilent to holiness. It is the only thing worth worshiping. Sounding ignorant and refusing to acknowledge proper English is the popular thing to do. It is highly esteemed to dumb oneself down in an effort to elicit a sympathy appeal. The new generation expects respect automatically while expecting others to earn theirs. Brute force and ignorance reigns the day and it a scary prospect for our future.

People are too busy to go to church or do anything that involves quality time with their family in a wholesome environment. Parents are too afraid to discipline their children in the way that most of us were raised for fear of being blasted across the national media. Children are more intuitive than they are given credit for and notice these things. In the words of the bible, 'spare the rod, spoil the child'. In the words of Roosevelt, 'talk softly and carry a big stick'. These sayings are accurate and have produced hard working honest people. Today the line between discipline and abuse has blurred beyond recognition.

There is no one contributing factor to where the degredation of human morality and personal responsiblity has gone. It has become a ripple effect of this push leading to that drop and so on and so forth. Ever so slightly, generation by generation, our values have dissappeared. It is no longer safe to assume that the person rushing towards you with your arms full of groceries is coming to your aid. You can no longer let your kids walk around the neighborhood without parental supervision. Please has become gimme. Thank you has vanished altogether. There is no sir or ma'am, it's 'yo' or 'hey you'. Children are sassing their parents left and right and cursing is no longer considered offensive. Respecting all forms of authority is a throwback to days gone by. It is not 'cool' to be well-mannered anymore. I miss the days of yesterday.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Could not agree more smart people use smart words dumb people use swear words to fill in the gaps I tell my kids stay smart. You are so wise respect is the key and I feel manners are integral it takes little to no effort to say please or thank you my concern is how will my kids fit in when we instill this in a world that no longer embraces it.

    • Chaotic Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Chaotic Chica 

      7 years ago

      Buffoon~You make a point about the parents being ultimately responsible, no matter how difficult the times are.

      Guanta~Thank you for taking the time to comment. I feel older than my age half the time as I watch my peers and those younger degrading our instant gratification society and that's half of the problem right there. Kids today do not see the value in delayed gratification.

    • Guanta profile image


      7 years ago from New York City

      Chaotic China, thank you, truer words have never been spoken.

    • Buffoon profile image


      8 years ago

      Sadly, you are right. I remember when one's word used to mean as much as a signature on paper, if not more. I don't think it's only kids that don't have any manners, it's their parents too. I mean, if the parents were well mannered, they would teach the same to their children.

    • Chaotic Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Chaotic Chica 

      8 years ago

      Thank you all for your supportive comments! Just like with any other topic, things will not change if we do not talk about it. I hope that some celebrity will acknowledge this and take action. They seem to be the only 'authority figures' with any pull on the younger generation.

    • IslandVoice profile image

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      8 years ago from Hawaii

      I'm glad someone brought this subject up, because it is a big big problem that the world is ignoring. We have everything and everyone to blame, but it still boils down to parenthood. Children are taught good manners at home, then at school. A powerful hub. Thanks!

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I agree.. they do not teach manners to children anymore, it seems.

    • elayne001 profile image


      8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      I totally agree with you that manners have gone somewhere. I spent some time teaching my grandchildren proper table manners because they seem to eat anywhere, anytime and anything goes. It is hard to get them to sit down with the family and use proper table manners, please, excuse me. They learned from it, but prefer their freedom. At least they are aware of some manners now.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      you have hit the nail on the head with this one hun.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      I understand perfectly how you feel.

    • Chaotic Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Chaotic Chica 

      8 years ago

      You both are welcome but most importantly, thank you for your time. It is difficult to raise children in today's world to still honor yesterday's 'traditions' but we sure are trying! I am hoping that more people will wake up to this reality and do something about it.

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 

      8 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Well done. And oh so true. Sad, but true. To this day, I refer to neighbors I delivered papers to forty or more years ago as Mr. or Mrs So & So. Not sure how we lost that simple respect/courtesy.

      You made a startling observation the grabbed me: "Technology is equivilent to holiness. It is the only thing worth worshiping." Wow, that is frightening because it is the reality of the times in which we live.

      Thank you for a thought-provoking Hub.

    • thevoice profile image


      8 years ago from carthage ill

      great thankful hub

    • Chaotic Chica profile imageAUTHOR

      Chaotic Chica 

      8 years ago

      Thank you Europewalker! I get so discouraged when I look at the latest generations and it makes me sick to see where we are headed. Sometimes I just have to vent.

      Pamfed~you are correct. It's such a shame that it has gotten to this point. I'm not sure if should be happy or horrified that this problem appears to be global, not just American.

    • profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      It's the same in Australia. The problem these days is we give our children everything except discipline. Parents feel guilty about the amount of hours they spend at work or the fact that they are a single parent family. Consequently they overcompensate and try to be their children's mate and not their parent. Many aren't even aware that their kids are rude or bullies.

    • europewalker profile image


      8 years ago

      Great hub Chica! You are so right on every point.


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