Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Things We Don't Learn Any More

When I was growing up, my parents insisted that we show respect and good manners. They set the example, and expected us to follow it.

Nowadays, I don't think that there are many parents who themselves know how to show respect and good manners, and many of them certainly aren't passing them on to their children. Among the lessons they aren't passing on are the ones noted in this article I found yesterday -10 Things That Used To Be Basic Manners That Kids Today Have Never Learned ... with my commentary, of course ...

1. Basic words of courtesy. Words like "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome" are in short supply nowadays, and even pleasant greetings like "good morning" and "good evening" don't often make an appearance. Being pleasant and respectful toward people evidently diminishes one's "street cred," or creates a sense of putting oneself in a subordinate position to others.

2. Taking care of your appearance. I can't imagine what sort of impression some people want to make when they have their pants hanging halfway down their backsides, or a baseball cap worn at a stupid angle. I don't put on a coat and tie to make a simple trip to the store, but I at least try not to look like Freddie the Freeloader when I go out.

3. Proper posture. I was always taught to stand up straight. Not only does it make a better impression, but it turned out to be very useful when I got into ballroom dancing, and my good frame (dance posture) helped compensate for my many footwork mistakes.

4. Sending handwritten thank-you notes. Most people don't even know cursive writing any more, so this one's not surprising. Sending a thank-you e-mail is more-or-less okay in today's technical world, but not sending a thank-you at all, or doing it by SMS, is pretty gauche.

5. Table manners. I'm sometimes guilty of putting my elbows on the table, but I do try to use the good table manners my parents taught me. It's pretty shocking to see how some people in restaurants comport themselves while they eat.

6. Rising when an older person enters the room. I was always taught that it was a sign of respect to stand up when an older person or a lady entered the room. You don't see that much any more, and I seldom see anyone stand up for a lady. This may be a function of our drive for gender equality in all things, but I still think it's sad.

7. Sitting with your ankles crossed. This one applies more to ladies, and I'm not sure that I agree that this is a problem any more ... or perhaps I just associate with ladies who have been raised in a more genteel home.

8. Taking off your hat indoors. Well, who wears hats any more, except for those idiots who wear cockeyed baseball caps? Just take it off, okay?

9. The woman decides when the night ends. It's always good when the lady gives a signal what she expects ... it can save a lot of agony and embarassment.

10. "Make an offer." I'd never heard of this one ... I was always taught that if I asked a lady out, I should expect to bear the cost of the date. Nothing wrong with "going Dutch," but I would never expect someone I'd asked out to offer to pay part of the cost. Maybe it's just me.

Are there any other lost signs of good manners that you have noticed? Leave a comment.

Have a good day, and use respect and good manners. It doesn't cost extra.

More thoughts tomorrow.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

Those are manners from a gentler time.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

You don't have enough time for that list Bilbo.

Cloudia said...

Golden Rule, anyone?

Bruce Coltin said...

I'm afraid that for many men and some women, the baseball cap has become part of their body. Were it not for the those ubiquitous caps, I do not think that many of them would be wearing a hat indoors.

Mike said...

I think number 6 is long gone.

Grand Crapaud said...

Times have changed. And often not for the better.