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Are manners a thing of the past?

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The huge leap that takes us from the safe boundaries of childhood into the big bad scary would of adulthood reveals a chest full of secrets. The largest and most shocking one that I’ve spotted since entering this callous and flawed domain is the mass lack of politeness and manners. Doors should be held open for the person behind, we should wear a smile when we pass strangers on the street, ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ or ‘pardon’ should be used when necessary instead of just ‘what’. The world seems to have developed in so many ways, but its personality has become shadowed and impersonal.

Not everyone is born and raised to be taught right and wrong, please and thank you and good and bad. Some are born with no moral compass what so ever and find themselves falling into terrible situations. Decency and respect however can be taught, earned or just understood, but there appears to be a great number of people who don’t have any respect for the thoughts and feelings of others because at the end of their day the question that they stand by is ‘what will it do for me?’ Why bother shaking hands when you greet someone? What’s the point in saying thank you to the taxi driver? It is of course their job. Why bother learning someone’s name if you don’t have to? What can it do for us?

Is it the concept of paying it forward? If one person smiles to a stranger on a street, maybe the stranger will later will put money in a charity box. That money could then help to open a soup kitchen which could then help a man get his life back on track. Could one smile enable a chain of events to spark? Possibly! Manners shouldn’t be treated as the stepping stones to one day saving a beached Whale, of course if they do that would be wonderful. They should be part of our soul and anatomy, something that is just second nature to us.

I may well be slightly compulsive with my manners. I tend to apologise for the smallest action, and place ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ after every other sentence. Sometimes this level of politeness is a little too erratic. I have however seen in workplaces the level of sheer rudeness. Names not learnt and respected, demands being made with swearing and crude actions, doing a task to have it unappreciated and slandered, the list goes on.

Some of the world still believes in small acts of kindness that can brighten up the gloomiest of days. I’m not trying to force the lifestyle that we were trapped in 100 years ago. Having to respect only the ‘higher’ classes and those with greater power than others, only holding doors open for ladies and calling each man and woman by sir and madam, but I sense that through our development in the last century some of us have become so independent, we have forgotten that in life and daily routine, we should respect the billions of others that we walk amongst.

So do try to put on your best smile and stretch out your arm to open that door for a stranger, it may well make their day.

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