Good manners all but forgotten?

When is the last time you witnessed an example of what we used to call “good ganners” by anyone? Is this a forgotten courtesy by many? It seems to be the case! Most of us in our youth were taught by our parents to understand why and to practice good manners such as always saying two key phrases – thank you and you’re welcome when someone extended a courtesy to you or you to them.

Is the world just too complicated and we are much too busy to practice good manners? Well as least that is the excuse many will surely use. But the fact is that good manners and respect for others is not top of mind for many today, and you see it almost every day. Many of our young people, unfortunately, perhaps were never taught good manners at home. And really a kind thank you or you’re welcome sounds much better than “no problem” which we hear all the time today.

Examples of poor manners abound and are around us every day such as wearing a hat (sometimes backwards) at the dinner table or out in a restaurant – which I personally witnessed recently in a popular restaurant and on Mother’s Day; not holding the door open for, let’s say, our elders; getting up from the table without excusing yourself; not surrendering your seat to a handicapped person or an elder when the situation calls for same; texting at the dinner table vs. joining in the conversation; dropping trash on our streets and/or throwing trash out the window of a moving vehicle; joining in the “shoving matches” in crowded department stores during holiday shopping; not sending a thank you note (or perhaps doing so but very late) when you have received a nice gift from someone; showing up late for an appointment with no apology or excuse; interrupting others constantly when they are trying to make a point … the list goes on.

Perhaps our hectic, frantic at times, always too busy, self-absorbed society has just simply given up on kindness, courtesies, respect and the consideration for others.

Think about it, and the next time you see an example of good manners … compliment that person!

George R. Cook