Manners are more important than simply not repulsing the person next to you when you eat. They are a part of a larger picture and come around like a carousel when passed on. When you pass on good manners, a helping hand will come your way when you’re down. When bad manners are passed on, it will come around to slap you back down when you think you’re invincible on your pedestal.
If we stop teaching our children manners, our society will be in a heap of trouble! Practicing manners leads to caring about others which in turns makes this world a better place to live. Teaching manners is the front line of kindness.
Have you ever had a stranger pick up something you dropped? They were taught manners which led them to be kind to you. Holding the door for the next person, giving up your seat in the waiting area of the restaurant for an elderly person, helping your neighbors search for their lost pet, pitching in when your coworker is having a bad day, donating to a worthy cause, supporting our troops regardless of your position on the war, serving at a food line for the homeless and hungry, forgiving even when we can’t forget, these are acts of kindness beyond resting the napkin on your lap while you eat. Practicing manners is exhibiting kindness. If we gradually become a world of people who have not been taught to care about how their actions can make others feel, as a society, we slide down a slope that will be most unpleasant when we hit bottom.
Manners are very much a part of our world. It is the gift of compassion that we can generously share, regardless of wealth. Manners are the heart and soul of the human race.
Even when you’re having a cloudy day and the thought of doing something for someone else is exhausting, (we have all been there), think about doing it for yourself. I was once told that there is no such thing as a selfless act, and I still have not been able to prove that wrong. Even when the kind generated for someone else, there is always a feeling of satisfaction and pride when you help others, thereby benefiting yourself. When all is said and done, the person you helped walks away pleased and you feel better about yourself. It’s a win-win result.
How is the best way to teach manners? By example! Of course with young children, words are required but more often than not, children will use their eyes much more often than their minds. Show them how good it feels to ‘do unto others as you would have other do unto you.’ Take some fresh baked cookies to the elderly person down the street, remember to say thank you to the waitress who serves the meal, give the stressed out mom in the grocery store a gentle smile that says you have been there, make a get well card for the friend in the hospital, or cut some fresh flowers for a random nursing home. Whatever you do, give some kindness direct from your heart.
There is not much difference between acts of kindness and manners. They are entwined into the core of humanity. Strengthen the ties that connect us and teach manners by both words and actions. Add to the glory of the human race.