Why Should We Have Good Manners?
Well, how do we feel if we encounter someone who does not seem to have good manners? Do we feel upset and disrespected?
Well… having good manners is a reflection on our own character. When we are consciously mindful to watch our ‘p’s and q’s’ then we are really doing it for ourselves. This means that we can live with a clear conscience, knowing that actually it would be difficult for anyone to say that we had ‘been rude’ intentionally.
We may think that the lack of that ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ does not matter. That it is a bit old school to have respect for our elders and teachers; to hold the door open for others; to offer to carry the heavy bags for someone; or give up our seat for someone in more need. Or perhaps it’s just plain carelessness. Is this really all to do with something that we have lost? That is, to have consideration for the welfare and well-being of others, or does it simply not matter anymore.
Well, the litmus test for this is for us to check ourselves, and our own response. How do we feel when we are on the receiving end of a lack of good manners? Are we ok with it? Or… Do we experience a slight ruffle of a feather… or a mild form of insult or rejection?
Maybe others simply don’t bother with what are basic good manners and politeness. But why is that? Is it a cultural thing? Is it due to a lack of education, both at school and at home? Or is it because we simply do not care anymore? Have we become so ego driven in society, so ‘me, me, me’, that even people have become a commodity for us to consume and use, to further our own ego desires?
When someone has good manners, then we stop and take notice. Isn’t it nice and refreshing to find someone who has consideration for the feelings of others… Actually, when we practice having good manners, such that they become a natural part of us, then it reflects a certain quality of royalty and divine beingness. It is the holder of good manners who really gains a lot because they create good social habits.
Yes, it comes back to our old friend, the law of karma, law of energy or law of attraction… because ‘whatever goes out’ will for sure be coming back to us! So, if we want to experience respect and consideration and good manners from others, then indeed we have to share these very qualities with others. If we find that we are consistently being disrespected, then perhaps we need ask ourselves: What are we doing? What exactly are we putting ‘out there’ into the Universe which is bringing us this return?
You may have observed that people who have good manners are generally more confident people. That is probably because they know themselves quite well. If we are in the habit of using good manners all the time, we won’t have to worry about whether or not we are ‘doing’ or ‘saying’ the right thing. It will come naturally to us, and others will respect us all the more for it.
We can also afford to be polite and respectful with everyone, from the Queen to the cashier, it costs us nothing, but it can mean everything. Manners means that we appreciate and value everyone in society regardless of the role that they are playing. Everyone has value simply for ‘being’ themselves.
A simple ‘Hello’, ‘Goodbye’, or ‘Welcome’ clearly acknowledges another soul. Making eye contact and a smile can make a difference to someone’s day, but there maybe be some cultural differences that affect this approach. But in general we can lift someone’s day with these simple and mannerly ways of interacting with others.
What has happened to the art of social grace and etiquette? Maybe it is time for the return of some of those social graces to make a comeback… that is before any more of our good manners are lost in the name of convenience and speed. As we use technology let us not forget the importance of sustaining human relationships. We have made the mobile phone, our closest companion, quite literally, taking it with us everywhere 24/7, when it should get a holiday!
Here are some forgotten manners which may hold us in good stead with our human relationships.
- Turn those mobile phones off please!!! At meal times; at public events; even on the buses or trains – use some earphones for privacy and respect the silence and space of others.
- Don’t hover around when people are on their phones. Please give them some personal space.
- Happily… hold the door open for others.
- Best not to eat and speak at the same time!
- It’s polite not to speak over someone else, whilst they are speaking.
- Listen to others respectfully… then make a comment if necessary.
- Try and use ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ more often.
- Be welcoming when someone comes to your home… offer them something to drink such as a cup of tea or a glass of water.
- Try to exercise the use of ‘Excuse me’ more. Such as when you need to pass through somewhere, in a queue or when you need something passed over to you.
- Make eye contact as much as possible.
- Acknowledge and include people, don’t exclude and isolate people.
- Do not make a joke at someone else’s expense.
- Swearing and bad language… is it really necessary?
- Practice smiling more and having a good attitude.
- Apologize when you need to. Humility is a strength not a weakness.
Or maybe there are others you can think of that can make our life and relationships more gracious and harmonious.
It’s Time… to remember that good manners really go a long way in helping our relationships run more smoothly.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK