“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”- Fred Astaire
“The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.” – Oscar Wilde
“Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Oh my God! Not another lecture on good manners. Yes, another lecture on good manners. Good manners are important to me. I do my best to be polite and courteous. When the occasional attentive driver lets me in the turn lane before him I not only give the “Thank you head nod” but I also mouth a hardy “Thanks!” When I am in public I do try to hold the door for both men and women. We live in a crowded world, however, when I bump into someone I make a point of making eye contact and saying “Excuse me.” Civility is a lost art. As Jerry Seinfeld told George Costanza “George, we are trying to have a civilization here!” Being polite, showing kindness and deference are a few of the keys to having a great society. Without kindness and manners, life is an ugly place!
We are creating another generation of mannerless people when we don’t actively show our children and those that we influence an example of how to be kind and polite. Showing kindness is crucial to passing on simple common courtesies to the nest generation. Anyone can be polite when everything is peachy. Like Emerson said in the quote at the beginning of this “Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.” A happy face emoji while very useful can never replace a sincere word of kindness delivered with a smile and eye contact.
Kindness and manners can also serve you well in life. It can and often does cause the polite and kind person to stand out in a positive way. The vast majority of people would much rather spend their time with a polite person than someone who is rude, thoughtless and always bitching about anything and everything. Jobs, promotions, opportunities, etc all come easier to people that others enjoy being around. In the workplace kind and polite people often wind up higher on the org chart than their performance alone demands. That may not be fair but it is the reality we live in. The lesson is…be kind. Maybe kindness and politeness make great New Year’s resolutions. I can say I am going to do my best to show more kindness and politeness in 2017. Yes, I am going to be a “Molly Manners.” After all, I don’t want to lose my oyster because I used the wrong fork.