When we have babies we teach them all about being humans – how to talk, how to walk, how to use the toilet, how to use a knife a fork.
We teach them to say please and thank-you, to share and play nicely and to generally have good manners, which I think is a little ironic as good manners amongst adults, the teachers of the next generation, is becoming sparse.
In my current part-time job at a children’s nursery, I have noticed that the children have better manners than their parents. I am often holding doors open for parents, and waiting patiently whilst they pass me in the hallway, but I scarcely hear a thank-you. Sometimes they do not even acknowledge me with a glance, or a hello. Some people just have no self-awareness; too consumed with their own being to notice the people they share this world with.
And it is not just parents. Manners amongst the grown-up population in general are becoming very rare. For instance, the other day I was out doing a little bit of shopping with a friend and I was in a very long queue, waiting to make my purchases, when a girl with a basket full of shopping came and joined her friend who was already being served at the till, and was expecting to be served with her.
It was rude of her to queue jump when there was a line of 20 people or more already waiting. We have to wait, so should she.
I didn’t say anything, being the un-confrontational person that I am, there just didn’t seem any point in arguing; the woman in front of me however, had a lot to say. She was an elderly woman with an obviously bad leg, waiting politely for her turn when this girl turned up, and I feel she had the right to be vocal about it. People shouldn’t go around thinking that they can get away with things, no matter how small the incident.
The girls at the till were selfish and rude, and their response to the woman in front of me who shouted at them was arrogant and disrespectful. Arguing over queue jumping may seem petty but it is the principal of it, and everybody needs to be considerate and respectful towards their fellow human beings.
It just seems that no-one has the inclination to be nice anymore. And what is so wrong with being nice?
Good manners; pleases, thank-yous, putting a hand over your mouth when coughing, and waiting your turn, etc. are precursors to a better environment to be in. Some may see it as old-fashioned but I think that good manners are essential. Rudeness is a horrible trait and I feel it shows a person’s arrogance and lack of compassion towards others.
Possessing good manners makes the world around us seem a little less hateful. And as I have always been told, they do not cost a thing.