Manners; please, thank you, excuse me, bless you, and pardon me immediately spring to mind. You will agree they are simple little words so why do people have so much trouble remembering to say them.
I was brought up to say thank you when someone gave me something. Similarly, if I was asking for something, inserting a please at the beginning of my sentence was always more likely to obtain a positive response. Manners were instilled in me from a very young age, infact from about the time I learnt how to speak. Different people associated with the family unit all contributed to that learning; Aunty’s and Uncle’s, friends of my parents, my friends’ parents, church elders, and school teachers. As individuals, we have attempted to instill manners into at least one young child – surely you remember your naughty little niece / nephew and how you withheld that glass of juice or lollypop until they said please?
But as we grew up something happened. We forgot our manners. These days you bounce up to someone at work and excitedly tell them you’ve finished the big job they gave you earlier. You are lucky if their eyes move away from the computer screen, let alone a thank you being uttered. Granted, some people are busy concentrating on their work so you can forgive them once or twice. But for people who constantly do that, one’s patience begins to wear thin. A thank you is not that hard to say and it goes a long way.
The people I struggle most with being polite to are those who are rude and obnoxious. It’s not appropriate to write what I would like to say to them! But thankfully for the majority of interactions, I find people helpful and friendly. For example, I always make a point of stopping to say ‘thank you & have a nice day’ to the supermarket checkout person. Some look really surprised but all of them return with a ‘thank you’ themselves. So how about you – would your parents still be proud of how good your manners are now?
Thank you for reading this post.