According to the Webster’s Dictionary; Manners are defined as a socially correct set of behaviors. Other words that have been used in place of it are decorum, etiquette, good form and courtesy. In today’s fast paced race, this is one of the many things that have went by the wayside. People seem almost to busy to be pleasant or grateful for the acts of kindness bestowed upon them by others. If we continue to decline this way, before long we will start to resemble a pack of ravenous dogs fighting over the consumption of the last morsel of a molding carcass.
The other day I was entering a store and held the door open for a little old lady who was walking in a few steps behind me. The lady glared at me with a look that read, “I am not a feeble, I can get it myself.” Granted, with the way most of the newer generations treat their elders, this shouldn’t surprise me, but it still did. I wasn’t expecting to be praised for holding open a door, but a simple thank you or smile would have been welcomed.
Small things like this can brighten a person’s day, or turn them in to a ranting angry ball of furry. We have all had a door shut in our face, cashiers talking on a cell phone, or someone run into us without apologizing. People are constantly arguing about their first amendment right, the right to say and do whatever we please. I am all for protecting this right, but we must understand that right was written in an age where, out of pure respect, men didn’t swear in front of ladies or children. It is sad to say, but in this day and age, this seemingly simple act has given way to 12 year olds using profanity without anyone really caring.
Say please and thank you, hold doors open for people, give up your seat to someone who needs it, or even to give a small wave when a car lets you into their lane. We currently live in what I call the “Politically Correct” generation. We were taught not to offend anyone, don’t get hurt, and don’t get involved. Basically, don’t look up and don’t question anything. It has gotten so bad that simple things like saying sit “Indian style” have had to be changed in schools to sitting “crisscross.”
As a nation we are so scared of offending someone that we have decided it is better not to be involved in the community at all then risking the possibility of offending someone or giving them the wrong impression. To be kind, to help others, and to have manners is never wrong. To show appreciation and relate with the world around you is never wrong. Manners are not lost forever, we have just become a socially that is afraid to use them.