Ah yes it is the word that we were constantly taught at school. Teachers that used to give us lectures about us “Minding our manners”, surely it is a concept that has been drilled into our heads since we were little kids, but little do we understand the importance of manners and its place in society in general. Working in an industry where i am dealing with up to 500 people face to face every day i have come to realize something more adequate than any newspaper study conducted with 2,000 people…It’s the fact that manners are on the decline, and not only by our youth but by the older generations too.
Manners is not a thing that is attached only to Children, indeed manners is something we are taught and it is a life long skill- a social skill. First thing is first, a simple “Please” or “Thank You” is getting more and more rare to hear, not to mention something as simple as a smile is hard to come across these days. People tend to forget that manners is the heart of character and if we lack manners, we lack character and if we lack character we lack personality. The destruction of manners is nothing less than the destruction of our very foundations.
It is beyond me how so many people could completely ignore a person, such as myself- who looks them in the eye and wishes them a great day. I personally know that if someone is directing their attention at me, and vocalizing towards me directly that i would not dare ignore them, in fact i would engage with their call; even if it lacks spirit; even if its monotonous. When i come to think of the words “Please” and “Thank You” they are the ground and the roof of a conversation. The “Please” sets your foot on solid ground, giving your conversation a stability and trust. The word “Thank You” is the roof over the head of the conversation, it purifies the conversation and covers any ill or bad thought.
We are lacking common courtesy and this is evident wherever we look. We have the elderly that scoff at the young, whilst the young wouldn’t even lower a hand to help the elderly. Chivalry dug itself deep into a grave and appreciation is a thing of the past. Today we are all simply vessels- bodies that are scurrying along to get from point A to point B and everything else in-between is simply an obstacle – something in the way- something blocking their path- best we avoid these things. Which is why i dare you to simply sit back at a bench in any busy city train station during peak hour- look at people run around in repetitive patterns, watch them huff and puff as they push their way passed others and look at the lack of eye contact, facial expression or general humanity.
Let us look at this example. A person is asking for the exact same thing in two very different ways, what sounds better to you?
Exhibit A) I’ll just have the bourbon and coke.
Exhibit B) Hi, can i please have the bourbon and coke? Thank You.
Exhibit A) Where can i find smith street?
Exhibit B) Excuse me? Do you know where i can find Smith street please?
Exhibit A) Turn the volume down!
Exhibit B) If you don’t mind, could you please turn down the volume?
We are not “too busy” or “too stressed” to practice a little thing like manners. It goes a long way. Manners makes a woman a Lady and a man a Gentleman. Manners are actions than ornament a persons character and one with good character is a personality that will never be forgotten. So never be afraid to say “Please, thank you, sorry, i appreciate it, you’re welcome, i am grateful, if you don’t mind and excuse me.” Do not be afraid to smile, even to a complete stranger and always remember that if someone is communicating with you- return your eyes to them and prompt your voice to speak. In one way or another we technically all work in some “customer service” related industry because someone is always intending to please someone else, so mind your manners both professionally and personally- if you don’t mind. :-).
Now enjoy these beautiful quotes on manners 🙂
‘The best among you are those who have the best manners and character.”
“A man’s manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait. ”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse. Whoever makes the fewest people uneasy is the best bred in the room. ”