Manners are of more importance than laws. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in. – Edmund Burke
Ok, answer me this: have we gotten too self-absorbed that we can’t remember to use good manners, practice “common” courtesy (evidently it’s not that common since people don’t use it often!), or perform simple acts of kindness for one another???
Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all used good manners and were courteous?
In my head, some things will never change and using good manners is one of them AND I believe it’s irrespective of [most] languages and cultures. In Kesha-Land, treating others with respect and common decency is first nature.
Using Manners Is Lost
Have you been in any of these situations? How do your manners stand up in these scenarios?
Speak doggone it!
When I walk past someone and make eye contact, I speak (or any variation of acknowledgement like a head nod ). Isn’t there an old proverb that says “the eyes are the windows to the soul?” Well, I find it very rude for me to look someone in the eye but then disregard that they even exist. What am I saying about their soul? Their existence? I could go further with this topic, but we’ll leave that for another discussion.
By the way, I’ve seen a variation of that proverb that says “never trust anyone who can’t look you in the eyes.” I remember practicing looking directly into another’s eyes with some friends when we were doing mock interviews back in the day. If I can’t look you in the eye, I’m not giving you any reason to trust I am genuine, friendly, or confident. So practice looking people in their eyes and saying hello. It takes 2 seconds tops! I know you have 2 seconds to spare out of your day. Remember, you do have 86,400 of those mugs to use up…
I thank you
When someone does something for me, I say thank you. Likewise, I expect the same. Not only is this what I grew up with, but it also just makes sense. I am acknowledging that I appreciate you for doing whatever you did. As a matter of fact, start practicing saying “I thank you” or “I appreciate what you did” to help you really understand the purpose of these 2 words.
Get your lazy butt up!
I saw too many instances on the Metrolink (public train system in St. Louis) where an elderly person, or someone who clearly needs to sit down, be denied a seat while people avert their eyes to look out the window not wanting to give up their seat. REALLY? Where they do that at (and don’t say behind that preposition LOL)?
People, get off your lazy butts and let those who could use the seat more than you have it.
Can you pick that up?
This is another one that irks me…when I see someone carrying a bunch of stuff and struggling, trying to do something but failing, or dropped something like right in front of me, I’ll reach out and help if I can. Clearly, they need assistance. Why should I keep walking past like I don’t see them? Just stop and take a quick moment to help someone else in need. It’s simple.
Ouch, that door hurt…
So I’m walking up to a door one day and the lady in front just went through – not even 5 feet from me. I KNOW she heard me behind her! Do you think she held the door? NOPE! I learned real quick how fast the door shuts back and almost got smashed. People, hold doors open for others, male or female, who are following close behind you!
Cursing out Customer Service reps
This one I had to learn first hand. Ok, so I used to not hide my frustration from customer service reps – not to the point of cursing people out as that’s not my style but showing real disgust at them. I’m sure we all know that it’s not their fault whatever the situation is. Even if it is, is it really how the situation should be handled?
One time, at band camp, I had to go and play a customer service rep with AT&T and I got first hand the stuff reps go through on a daily basis. People called in with negative attitudes, called me all types of names – some which I had never heard of!, and were just plain ol’ mean. What did I do, you ask? Be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
After that experience, I am sure to be nothing but nice to customer service reps; even if I am frustrated, I’ll let them know that it’s not directed at them and I appreciate all the help they can provide.
P.S. Know that more good can come from being nice and positive with them than not!
Move out of my way!
Driving in traffic is one of my least favorite things to do EVER! I am so glad I have the opportunity to work from home often! Yes, there are rude drivers out there and you might even be one of them (don’t lie bout it!).
But here is one thing I don’t like to see: when people don’t let merging traffic in. Wooooooow! So it seems people would rather have merging cars run off the road or run into something than to just speed up or slow down to let them in. If the lane was running out on you, what would you want the other car to do for you???
Go ahead, Sir, with your 2 items…
I think we’ve all either been a participant in this scenario. Either someone has let you go ahead of them or you let someone in front of you in the checkout line because there’s a hundred things in your cart and they’re only holding 2 items. I know it will only take them 2 seconds to check out so I just let them go ahead of me. I can wait one more minute.
FYI – you have my permission to clock them upside the head and send them to the back of the line if they pull out a check though! LOL
If you bump into someone, just say excuse me. ‘Nuff said.
Likewise, if someone bumps into you, don’t immediately go ballistic AND don’t say “Excuse You!” Yes, it’s rude. *shaking my head* Give them an opportunity to say excuse me and even if they don’t, calm your butt down. Maybe they didn’t know they touched you for whatever reason. Maybe they had something in their mouth and couldn’t speak immediately (personal experience). Ultimately, just chalk it up and keep it movin’. Let them be jerks by themselves.
Image source: Marellen’s hubpage
Liberty Mutual ”Pay it Forward” Commercial (30 secs)
This commercial always gets me teary eyed to see people affected by the kindness bug. Though what is depicted is a bit different from the popular Pay It Forward concept or movie by the same name, it depicts a similar idea. Here, people see another person do something nice for someone else and are inspired to do the same. I wish we were like this ALL the time.
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5ya8J-jyK4
Laura Trice Suggests We All Say Thank You (~3 mins)
In the video, Laura mentioned asking for praise from others. I’m not sure about that one. Is it really genuine if you ask for it?
Give Away Free Hugs
In 2008, volunteers went to Big Give Vancouver’s 100 in 100 project. The aim of the project was to do 100 kind acts in 100 minutes in downtown Vancouver. In one part of the video, they were giving away free hugs. Neat idea right?
I briefly thought about giving hugs for free, but quickly dismissed the idea. In theory, it sounds good, especially since I’m a huggie person. But upon second thought, it might turn out to be more creepy than helpful out here in these streets these days. So I’ll leave my hugs for my friends, family, and new connections.
See video here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7gbvgJ8Ez0 (free hugs around 1:20 mark)
Over to you…
“Life be not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What do you think? Is having manners a lost art these days? Has our modern technological living left us impolite and less respectful?