Last night, I watched the documentary "To Hell with Manners" on W-Five (CTV). Having the wonderful task of instilling this lost art to my offspring, I actually MADE my seedling watch as well (even with the parental advisory warning). If she can see how not to do it, maybe she will see the reason why there are manners in the first place. Ya know, curious kids & their perennial question "Why?".
Just a brief overview of why we have manners. We have manners in order to preserve relationships with both close and distant acquaintances (aka. to be nice). There end of history lesson. If you want more go to wikipedia.
Well, we both got an eyeful last night. I cannot believe some of the things that these people would do (and they are not actors). In fact, in one hidden camera at a workplace, an employee jumped over his desk and started beating his coworker over the head with his keyboard. What the ****? Since when was this acceptable? And the saddest/funniest part was that no one else (no other coworker or employer) helped or stopped the assault.
Another example was a pregnant lady taking the subway in New York. No one offered their seat. In fact she reported that people were pushing and elbowing her out of the way. I can definitely sympathize because when I was pregnant, the same thing happened here, in wonderful 'polite' Canada.
With the advent of technology, the narrator said, we have become more isolated and we think our time is more important than anyone else. Cell phones, computers, pagers, and TV are all culprits. I think Emily Post may be rolling in her grave right now.
So readers, when you are talking to someone and your phone rings, politely say "excuse me", turn off your ringer (DO NOT ANSWER THAT PHONE UNLESS IT IS LIFE OR DEATH), and say "sorry for the interruption" and continue talking to the person standing in front of you. When you are in a movie theatre, classroom, lecture hall, theatre, turn OFF your cell phone/pager/laptop because no one else cares how much you had to drink over the weekend or what guy you screwed because you were pissed. Hold the door open for the person behind you, and at all times, say "THANK YOU" (the two words that should be the first we ever learn). If we want people to remain acquaintances (remember the history lesson), we have to be polite and have manners).
So while I don't agree with the guy who gives hugs to strangers (please not me); you should smile or talk about the ******** weather with the person who gives you coffee every day. Next time you see someone being rude, do you ignore or should you comment? What have you done with someone that was intentionally/unintentionally rude to you? I need some advice, because it sure as hell wasn't in my Emily Post's Etiquette book.
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