I’m in the process of helping my kids write thank you cards to the family members that gave them presents for Christmas. Sometimes I’m not great about doing this. Life gets in a hurry and I forget, then it gets so late that I’m embarrassed to send a note. But I’m determined that this is going to be a good habit that my children pick up. I want this partially because I feel letter writing is becoming a lost art and partially because I think good manners have become optional.
I like good manners. I like people that practice good manners. I don’t think it’s necessary to wear a fancy dress for dinner, but saying please and thank you and for us southerners, sir and ma’am are the minimum requirements for minding your manners.
When I was growing up, my dad was the main source of income for our family. My mom had a part-time job when I was in middle school but other than that, she stayed at home. When we would go out to eat, my mom would always prompt my brother and me to tell our dad thank you for the meal after we ate. And my dad thanked my mom for supper every night that she cooked. This ritual continues to this day. You may think it seems ridiculous for a wife and children to thank the breadwinner for a meal at a restaurant, but I’m sure it made my dad feel like spending his hard-earned money was appreciated. Same with my mom, we always said thank you to her for fixing the meal. It’s not something she had to do. She could’ve let us eat cereal or sandwiches all the time. My mom took the time to cook a hot, nutritious meal and we followed my dad’s example of thanking her each evening.
Good manners matter, but I don’t believe you have to know the intricate details of proper gift giving at weddings or place settings at a formal reception like Emily Post. Courtesy is a symptom of good manners and I think we can all use an extra dose of courtesy in this world. Good manners make you pleasant to be around and may cause you to be kinder to others.
We traveled to my home state for Christmas, and it was an exceptionally long trip both ways, due to the heavy holiday traffic. We stopped at a McDonald’s to give my kids a much needed bathroom break followed by a snack. The line at the women’s bathroom was out the door and flowed into the restaurant seating area. I was with my three-year-old, and we were fifth in line behind other mothers with young children. An older lady using a cane came up to the bathroom line to have a look. She asked one of the gentlemen that came out of the men’s bathroom if anybody else was in there because she couldn’t stand up for long periods. Unfortunately, the men’s bathroom was just as busy (although still moving faster than the women’s) and was full. She turned to take her place in line behind me and I told her to go ahead of me. She asked if I was sure and I said yes, at which point she took her place and thanked my three-year-old son and me. Her daughter got in line behind us and also thanked me for letting her mother go first.
Now, I’m not telling this story to get brownie points. I let her go first because I’ve been taught courtesy, respect and good manners. I would hope that if I come to a point in my life where I’m in need of a favor, I would be treated with kindness and courtesy as well. I also I’ll be able to model more little moments like this for my children and that they will remember them as they grow up to hopefully become polite, courteous and kind people. Small little acts of showing good manners can sometimes make a big difference to someone.
Being polite is a good thing. Having good manners used to be something that was expected of everyone. I know it can be difficult to practice good manners when others that you’re interacting with aren’t. Just consider that maybe they weren’t raised right and give them an example (in a polite way of course) of good manners. In these days where rudeness seems to be celebrated, we need as many people as possible on the team for good manners. Please and thank you!
-Amanda Scott, Program Manager for the Liberty County CVB
The Right Blend Blog is written by two different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each write about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.