Saturday, December 17, 2011

Article # 177 Manners and Courtesy

In our hectic modern world, there is little time for manners or courtesy. In the old days, you always acknowledged someone who took the time to greet you with a polite “good morning” or “how are you?” Nowadays it tempting to just ignore such a greeting. If you are an email user, you know what I mean. You can send off an email to a family member or friend and not know if they actually received it because many do not take the time to acknowledge your email with a simple “thanks” or less civil “okay.” If your email is read, the receiver may just delete it, unless you’ve requested some important information from them that requires that they answer back.

How about a simple RSVP’s to holiday parties? Who takes the time to email back or make a simple phone call as a courtesy so the inviter can plan their party knowing how many are coming? Manners and courtesy take time and training. Who is going to unplug the upcoming generation to teach the nuances of politeness. Few parents or grandparents think it’s important or even possible. (Photo of my grandmother Johnson's mother and aunt. I'm sure they were always courteous.)

So our world continues to get ruder and lacking in courtesies as time continues. Gone is the need for writing thank you notes or even expressing gratitude for presents received for birthdays, weddings, holidays, etc. Gratitude is lacking as well as politeness. Every once in a while I’m shocked when a teller or clerk in a store shows a little courtesy or interest in me, the customer.

Perhaps the only solution is be an example of thoughtfulness in our own relationships and interactions with others. I have a dear friend who goes about always finding something to compliment strangers she meets whenever we are in any kind of situation. Be it the waitress or a clerk in a large department store, she notices them and finds something to comment on such as: “What great earrings you have.” or “I bet you’re from out of town” or “I just love that jacket.” Just a little interest in others can bring great benefits as conversations are started and new friendships made. It doesn’t take all that long either.

She cares about others and is sensitive to being friendly to others. That’s why Caryn’s my best friend, a great example of unconditional acceptance and love for the human race through common courtesy and politeness in daily life.


  1. This is so true Lin...although in my daily life I try to be cheerful when dealing with people when I am out shopping or whatever..but the real old fashioned politeness is gone. I just answered a text from friend..'I am fine, how R U?'...I may forget how to spell....

  2. You know what? I've really noticed this too. My daughter was just telling me that a lot of her generation now skip acknowledging gifts. Why is this?

  3. You have caught me with my manners down. I owe quite a few thank-you notes and better get on it! I appreciate this post very much.

  4. My own daughter is very poor with the "thank you" response, and it i not for lack of an example. I am a very polite person. There just seems to be a trend in the younger generations to not practice the niceties many of us olders are accustomed to. And it is not making the world a better place.

  5. The saddest line in this sad commentary is that you are "shocked" when a teller or clerk is courteous to you. What the heck?? Isn't that the foundation of their job? Yet... you're right. It's always somewhat surprising when they take a sincere interest in helping you.

    I hate to say it... I hate that it's true..., but I'm slipping in that area. Oh, not so much paying attention to strangers... thats fun. But, in remembering to acknowledge an e-mail, or to send a thank you note. Handwritten notes and cards sent "snail mail" are something that I have to stretch my mind to remember sending. sigh... This was/IS a good reminder. Thanks a heap! One more reason to love you!