Being civil to one another costs nothing, zero, big goose egg. We all know the people who need this reminder, lesson, do over in manners….will most certainly not read this or if they do, they will not think it is about them. It is just me venting with the hopes that it may gently or not so gently remind people we need to treat each other with a bit more kindness.
When we had little toddlers of course we taught our children to say please and thank you and the correct moments. We practiced and reminded over and over and over. We also did something else. We taught our children to be civil to others. Yes, good manners are very important in our family. Other families it is not top priority. However, being civil in a public arena is something that we are forgetting as a society. Yes, I know you are more comfortable behind a computer, or looking at your phone. That is fine and dandy. Please remember that once in a while you are around real life humans and need to act appropriately. If you don’t know what good manners are………….just pretend to be nice. That’s all folks. Just be nice. Stop being so darn tootin rude! Yes, I am talking to all ages, not just the youngin’s in our life.
That means, before someone came to our home, we told the boys. Mr. and Mrs. Warner will be stopping by tonight. Please come out of your rooms, say hello, shake hands, (the adults will fill in the small talk) then you can politely excuse yourself and head back to your game boy or drawing pad. When driving up to a restaurant, an awards luncheon, someone’s home…..we helped them. When we get to the restaurant, Mr. and Mrs. Durgin will be there as well, please look them in the eye, shake hands, call them by name and say hello. Sometimes the reverse was the case and we would be sitting down in the living room, or already seated at a restaurant. If that happened, we would quietly and gently remind the boys (as we set the example) to stand up when an adult comes into the room and greet them.
What I see happening is people are not making the effort to make their fellow-man feel wanted or appreciated or of value. When you make an effort to go to someone’s home, if you are not greeted in a way that makes you feel comfortable, you will most likely not go again. When you make your entrance at the work place and three out of four people do not say hello until you say hello and try to make them come to the party…………you like them a little bit less each and every time. You do not stomp your foot and get red-faced angry, you just find little reasons not to be around those people. Sure you continue to say hello, it’s what you do, but you stop making an effort to include them in your circle.
Emily Post said: “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners. No matter what fork you use.”
If you don’t know what in the world I am talking about, let me put it into clear sentences or spell out the rules if you need them…………..Say hello to the maintenance worker at the hotel. (I don’t care, if you don’t speak their language.) It matters. Say hello to a fellow co-worker when you or she arrives in your work area. (I don’t care, if you have seen that person every day for 17 years.) It matters. Nod your head and offer up a cheerful hello to a fellow beach comber. It matters. Say hello to the neighbor (I don’t care if they are grumpy. You have no idea what cross some people are carrying.) It matters. Say a friendly hello to your balcony neighbor at a resort (you will most likely see them again in your three or four-day stay) It matters.
You are making the effort and saying Good Afternoon for YOU. It doesn’t matter if they say hello or not. It matters because that is the kind of person you need to be. It matters because it makes the day go smoother for you. It matters because, yes Virginia, being nice matters! Being kind to each other matters.
Now don’t get all crazy and goofy acting. I am not suggesting that we all poke around in each other’s business. We do not need to tell perfect strangers our names, or our situations, or the reason we are there or what our plans are for the day. I am just saying a simple Hello or Good Morning will suffice. Seriously folks, just a simple civil greeting of the day. Good behavior, good manners, being civil is what our society is structured around. It is a solid foundation on which we all build lives. Seriously, it is that fundamental.
“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” Fred Astaire