Friday, July 20, 2007

Are Good Manners Dead?

Sometimes common courtesies seem to be a thing of the past. In my younger years, you constantly saw a man opening a door for a woman. He would help her in and out of a car. That is a rare thing these days. My husband continues to hold doors for me, if I give him a chance. We’ve advanced beyond my requiring him to hold the car door for me, but he does occasionally. And, on one of those occasions, a friend commented to her husband how nice my husband was. Seems hers never held the door for her.

I happened upon Jay Adkins' post No Time To Be Nice in which he talked about observing people in a coffee house. People seemed never to notice others. Men would walk out the door in front of women, never offering to hold the door. And, he said others even did this to older people. Our society seems to be too busy to notice others. They don’t have time to do the little things that manners/etiquette require. Or, perhaps they have never been taught the little things that matter in life like manners. Are we failing our children in these areas?

I hear young children speaking to their parents or older people in ways that would have gotten me a spanking! My own children would not have gotten away without telling someone thank you. No Sir/No Ma’am, Thank you/Please and a host of other niceties seem to have slipped through the cracks. Older people are called by their first names. To me, even at my age, that is a no-no! I was brought up to respect the elderly, and one way of doing that was to address them as Mr. Or Mrs, or Miss, whichever was appropriate. But, how do you address that with so many parents letting their own children call them by their name, rather than Mother/Mom, or Dad?

Perhaps schools need to have a class on manners that children need to pass before graduation. I’m not talking about just learning manners, but practicing them in every day life and being graded on their performance. Wonder if that would pass the test with parents, or would there be some that would see it as invasive on their parenting skills?

Linked at Conservative Cat
Woman Honor Thyself
Church and State

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4 Comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

what a nice post ..dont u wish sometimes u could turn back the hands of time?...smiles

Linds said...

I so agree with you here. I have been teaching this year, and am appalled by the lack of manners. The scariest thing is that the staff in their 30s to early 40s (I am 53) seem to have few manners either.
I was SO tempted to walk into a senior management meeting and give a tutorial on manners to remind them of what I am sure their mothers taught them. Without example, how can the children learn? Either at home or at school.

Cathy said...

I'm sure some parents would not like manners being taught in school. Some are not even teaching their children to respect the property of others. Unfortunately, I don't think many young people today are being taught manners at home. I have noticed some gentlemen will sometimes open the door for me. :-)

Jay Adkins said...

I think it's important to teach your children manners. I'm always getting compliments on how courteous my children are and it's just because my wife and I have taught them from the beginning about manners. If they forget, they know I will get on them about it and it's second nature for them now.