OLD FASHIONED GOOD MANNERS
By: Mrs. Snoop
Where did they go? I’m not talking about arcane or silly rituals. I’m referring to classic ways of behaving that take very little effort, but go a long ways in keeping the wheels of civility smoothly rolling.
Almost every day I witness someone being rude or acting like their fellow human beings are a burden to them and the world. Almost every day I speak with someone who cannot stand the majority of their fellow humans. And almost every day I hear exchanges that violate the good old fashioned manners my mama taught me.
A few examples -
When someone tells you “Thank you”, what do you respond? If you said “Thank you.” go to the back of the class. The correct answer and response is “You are welcome.” But if you didn’t know that, or don’t respond that way, you are among the majority. Listen to interviews on news programs. I have been listening for years, to no avail. Even if someone does say “you’re welcome” they always (not almost always, but always) add “thank you” to it. The proper response of “You’re welcome” is not archaic and without meaning. Responding “you are welcome” means that the other person’s thanks is acknowledged as valued and accepted. The return “Thank You” makes the exchange into a mini Chip & Dale routine. “Thank you.” “No, thank you” “Oh, no thank YOU.” Etc. Ad nauseam. I know - it’s a small thing, But it irritates me.
How about your manners on the phone. My parent’s taught me to answer the phone “S........ residence, T..... speaking”. To which the person on the other end was supposed to answer, “Hello T. This is......” Once identities were established, the conversation or request could commence with all parties knowing exactly to whom they were speaking. In this day and age of caller ID, the person answering the phone often has a pretty good idea of who is calling. But that doesn’t mean the caller has a clue who they reached. However, it is now an extremely rare thing for someone to identify themself, on either end of the conversation. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always recognize people’s voices and it sure would be nice to know (for sure) who I’m speaking to, right from the start. I bet I could pay more attention, right from the start, if I was sure who was on the other end of the line.
These are small, and perhaps petty, observations and complaints. Maybe they don’t really matter to anyone but me. Yet, when I see an increase in the number of people who HATE all other people, who cannot stand to be around fellow human beings, who are surely and rude 24/7...I wonder. Are good manners dead because so many people feel that way, or do these people feel that way because good manners are dead?