Common courtesy and common decency just don’t seem that common anymore. Where are our manners?
I give credit to my mother for a lot of my good qualities, my manners being one of them. She made sure I always knew the value of money, to appreciate the things people did for me and the importance of showing gratitude. I was given a weekly allowance for helping out around the house and I remember on occasion spending that money to buy flowers for her to show how much I loved her, even if that meant not having any money to buy candy. I also remember feeling angry and confused when people around me took whatever they got for granted. I couldn’t understand why my friends got bigger allowances when they did nothing to earn it.
I see it as our duty to raise our son to be a graceful young man, courteous, smart and considerate of others. I expect him to offer a helping hand when it’s needed and to always, always show appreciation for the things he is given, in whatever shape or form they come. It doesn’t take a grand gesture to show gratitude when someone does something for you, a simple thank you goes a long way. But it seems to me our manners are slipping. Do we need to lower our expectations or do we need to start speaking up when people forget their Please and Thank you’s?
Let me give you a few examples. Someone cooks you dinner, you say thank you and clear the table after everyone is finished, or at the very least offer to do so. When opening a door you make sure to hold it open for the person behind you, or offer them to enter before you. When offered something you answer yes, please or no, thank you. You give up your seat to the elderly, disabled or pregnant, or to mum’s with young children. You help someone on or off the tram with a pram or a shopping trolley. Hospitality should be repaid with helping out and offering to pitch in, you clean up after yourself and earn your keep in one way or another. The list goes on and on, but we all know what I’m talking about, right?
The point is to never be a burden, an unwelcome expense or to take anything for granted. (Yet I on occasion take people’s manners for granted and find myself shocked when they do not have any.) To always show appreciation, to offer a helping hand and do your part. It sounds so easy and self-explanatory, so why is it that some people just don’t have simple manners?
I have more than once recently been baffled by just how often people turn a blind eye or take things for granted. So where are we failing? Are people just too self-absorbed to care about anyone else? Do they think so highly of themselves that they are above a simple please and thank you? Or is it that they are simply victims of being over-pampered from a young age to understand better?
Do you make sure to teach your children to be courteous? Do you experience courtesy and decency to be a common thing?