To The Manner Born

Manners. Manners are the standard of conduct that show others you are proper, polite and refined.  I’ve been thinking a lot about manners lately.  On some level, it seems to me that manners have gotten pushed to the wayside. I must admit, I’m big on manners.  As a child, my mother reinforced manners in all sorts of ways.  For example, I knew from an early age on that “please” was the magic word, but I learned from the folk singer, Ella Jenkins, that “please is a pleasant expression, please is nice to say.”  (The fact that I still know every word to a song that I learned when I was 5 is testament to the strength of my mother’s tactics).  I cannot lie, I truly appreciate a courteous person – friend, salesperson, stranger – it almost makes me swoon when I receive a hand-written thank you note in the mail.  Call me old-fashioned, but I’m a sucker for a well-mannered individual.  The other day a new acquaitance told me that when she met her husband, the first thing she noticed about him was how well-mannered he was.  Believe you me, manners are things that people notice even if they never comment on them.

Great manners can definitely make climbing the ladder to success a whole heck of a lot easier.  None of us are born knowing all of  this stuff, but some of it is just merely common sense.  However, even the most mannered of us out there can polish up on our manners every now and again.  There are tons of etiquette books out there now; along with Miss Manners, even folks like Whoopi Goldberg have thrown their hat in to the etiquette ring, she’s got a great etiquette book for kids called Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners.  As long as the message gets across, it doesn’t really matter who’s conveying it as long as it gets conveyed.  These are my thoughts.  I’d love to know what you guys think.

How big are you on manners? Do you put your napkin on your lap for meals? Do you say please and thank you religiously? Do you kindly ask people to do things, or do you tell them to do it?  Do you interrupt others when they’re talking or do you allow them to finish their point before launching into yours?  Do you apologize when you’ve mis-spoken?

I’m just trying to gauge what others view the importance of manners in today’s society to be.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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5 Responses to “To The Manner Born”


  • The first thing to attract me to my partner was his manners. I’m one for hand writing thank you notes. It’s the little touches that make the difference.

  • Do not get me started!!! The number of people who do not understand what RSVP means, who not only don’t thank you but don’t even acknowledge that you’ve sent them a gift, I could go on and on. Manners are important and I do notice when people have what I call “good home training”.

  • This is probably one of biggest pet peeves now–is how manners seem to have disappeared in our modern day society. I was so happy to hear at my son’s daycare when I picked him up last week his teacher complimented him/us because he is the only child in his class who says thank you to his teachers when they serve him his food. We need to get back to common courtesy–our society definitely needs it!!!

  • Little lessons I believe all children should learn: walk over to your host(s) and say “thank you for inviting me” when you leave a party or someone’s house, write “thank you” notes and learn to shake hands at an early age! It is unfortunate that so many adults in their 40′s seem to lack this training. If parents don’t do it, what are the chances that their children will???

  • I am so glad to see that I am not alone on this. It’s pretty sad that I am pleasantly surprised when I hear simple words like please, thank you and excuse me. My dad always gave up his seat for a lady to sit. These days it is rare to see a man offer a seat to a pregnant woman or a woman with a small child. I was taught to use Ms or Mr when speaking to elders. Kids just call adults by their first names. The list goes on. smh

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