Manners. What happened to them? They are still out there, right? You occasionally see them as they make their way into life. However, have they become the ab-norm?
What are manners? Manners are ways of behaving with reference to polite standards, kindness and consideration from one person to another. Have you noticed that when someone shows basic manners, some people wonder, "What is wrong with you?" or "What are you trying to gain?"
Mind you, I am not talking about etiquette. I am not talking about keeping your elbows off of the table or using the right fork. I am talking about treating people with what should be common decency.
When is the last time that you received a thank you card for something that you did or for a gift that you gave? When was the last time that you sent one?
We sent a box of gifts to a family for an occasion. Not only did they not send a thank you note, they did not even acknowledge that they got them. What is up with that?
After our son's last birthday party, we sent thank you cards for each gift. Granted, he was two, so we "helped" him, yet even from an early age, we try to instill gratitude and appreciation as a basic foundation for his character.
As simple as it is, a thank you seems to be a lost manner in today's society.
People talking with food in their mouths bug me to no end. Oh, and when they spit food at the same time-- ugh. Gag. Really, I can wait eight seconds until you swallow that, thank you.
I cannot fathom why sometimes, when I am eating, and someone asks me a question, they seem to get annoyed that I wait until I swallow my food before I reply. Do we really need to be in such a hurry to talk that we cannot have the consideration to not show people our disgusting, chewed up mush -- and spit it on the table in front of them?
Oh, and do not get me started about people talking to me while they are chewing gum like a cow chewing its cud, complete with spittles squishing out. I know, I know; someone will probably get offended by me saying that, but it is just not polite. If you are offended, then you will be welcome to return tomorrow for my post about being offended.
Speaking of a lack of manners...cellular telephones. These little creations are a tool of rudeness for today's world. I went somewhere one time with a friend that was about a half an hour drive. A few minutes into the drive, she got on the telephone with another friend of hers and yakked about nothing important for almost the entire trip...with me sitting right there next to her with my jaw in my lap, astonished. Why was chit-chatting with that person on the other end of the cell phone more important than me, the person sitting right next to her?
Then there is texting. You know what I mean. Some people text all of the time. Have you been in the middle of a conversation with someone when they kept looking down to text with someone else? Did you wonder if your company was that boring?
Again, manners is simply behaving with politeness toward others. Are we raising our children to understand this? Our son knows to say please and thank you. He even says, "Please nicely." Hehe. He is two. It is cute. We are off to a good start.
As time goes on, though, will our son grow to be the kind of person who disrespects his elders or the kind of person who calls people "Ma'am" and "Sir" as a sign of respect? Will our son grow up to be the teenager who rolls his eyes and hurries past the woman struggling with a stroller, four bags of groceries and two more children in tow because she is in the way, or will he grow up to be the young man who holds the door for her and offers to help her carry those groceries? Will our son grow to be a self-centered product of today's society, or will he grow to be a loving, compassionate, respectful man of God -- dare I say, a man with manners?
No, I am not Little Miss Perfect. I sometimes forget a thank you card. I probably speak with food in my mouth from time to time. I may pass someone in need of help without "seeing" them. However, I will continue to make efforts to have manners, to have consideration, and to do for others when I can. I would rather that people wonder what I am up to because of my kindness than because of something else.
If my post today bothers you for any reason, then I accept that. We cannot all agree on everything. How about if we just shake hands and be friends, anyway. Just give me a minute here....