It’s Time to Bring Back Manners and Respect in Everyday Life
By enforcing basic manners and etiquette, we can bring back an element of kindness and respect to today’s society. With all the violence and rudeness we see on TV, the young people of today are taught to be edgy, cynical and grown up before they’re even adults. What happened to the days when strangers weren’t so afraid of one another, when marriages lasted, and people actually respected each other? Nowadays, there is so much bad language, people slugging it out on “reality” shows, and kids idolizing hard-partying ex-pop stars. Has this world gone mad? I’m no prude, far from it, but something has got to give here.
When I was a little girl, saying “please” and “thank you” was a given. Everyone was taught to do it. People held doors open for one another, and wouldn’t think twice about helping someone stranded on the side of the road. These days, many people of all ages forget these small but powerful courtesies. We have to look out for ourselves, it’s true. But, showing a little kindness to someone who is in need of help not only makes us feel better about ourselves but helps the other person as well. For example, when an elevator door is about to close and someone rushes for it, frequently people shrug it off, and don’t press the “open door” button. Was it necessary to be in that much of a hurry to get where they’re going, that they can’t wait a moment to help someone out? They would feel a little better about themselves by waiting. If they do something else kind later on, that will make them feel a little better, too. In time, adding up all those kind favors, self esteem is boosted and people who needed assistance were given some. Being polite and kind is beneficial to everyone.
It would be helpful if schools required basic, everyday manners on a daily basis. By setting healthy boundaries and teaching kids to respect animals as well as people, kindness is reinforced. To cut down on violence in the world today, we need to teach kids young, to imprint thoughts of tolerance and humane treatment of others. As a 44-year old woman, I remember as a child being taught to put my napkin in my lap, not slurp my soup, sit up straight and be polite to others. It was required and I thought it was silly at the time. But it wasn’t at all silly, those little behaviors were taught to me early and even now, I use manners everyday because it became a habit. Seeing faded pop stars do stupid things like showing off their privates in public, being disrespectful of wardrobe during photo shoots and driving drunk; I wonder who taught them to be so disrespectful to themselves and others. It takes work to grow up and be a well-adjusted adult.
There aren’t any courses in high school or college that deal with self-esteem and respect of others that I know of. It’s time that there was, from childhood to adult, to reinforce good skills so those without a focus doesn’t end up being some out-of-control party person who has no respect for others. A little kindness and manners goes a long way. If all of us contribute even a little, then the world would definitely be a better place.
Tags: Parenting , Family , Learning , Child
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