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The Forum > General Discussion > Dead, Dying, or even desirable?

Dead, Dying, or even desirable?

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Manners?
The "old" way, politeness, courtesy, manners in general, seem to be falling out of favour.
I was raised the old way, and did the same with my kids. Then, and even now, I receive compliments on my kids manners, and the "smoothness" of their social skills, their polish. It seems rare nowadays, they stand out from their crowd.
The Fems derided manners as putting women down, and from their point of view I suppose that had some merit, yet I wonder, have we thrown out the baby with the bathwater?
As the Japanese show, manners are the grease of social interactions, the framework of behaviour that permits social comfort. That would seem to be in short supply these days, perhaps there's a connection there?
Posted by Maximillion, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 4:22:18 PM
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Maxi

I agree that courtesy oils the wheels of society. However, it was not manners that feminists were objecting to it was being treated as incompetent that started the confusion.

Anecdote:

I was in my teens wandering through a large department store at Christmas time, heading for an exit door, I noticed a immaculately dressed elderly gentleman loaded with parcels, he noticed me at the same time and hastened to reach the door in order to open it for me. Being young, fit and not weighed down with parcels, I reach the door first and with a slight bow held it open for him, as I said. "Courtesy works both ways, have a merry Christmas." He paused, then thanked me.

The only time I would like to have a door held open for me is when I clearly need help, like I'm heavily pregnant or loaded up with shopping. I don't want someone tripping over themselves to open a door just because I'm a woman. That was the point that feminists were, and still are, trying to make. As for holding doors open, if I reach a door first I will often hold it open for whoever is behind me whether they are male, female or martian.

Instead, courtesy seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs, but unlike those dead animals, courtesy can be brought back. It shouldn't matter what sex you are, just be excellent to each other. Its not difficult and it makes everyone feel good.
Posted by Fractelle, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 5:14:42 PM
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Manners have been neglected for a quite a while. It is easy to slip into the "good old days" mindset here but I think there is great merit in treating people with manners.

What happened to manners? For manners to mean something we need to take more care with our children but most of all we need to lead by example. Some parents are largely MIA when it comes to child raising and are often too tired to make an effort once home.

The media certainly shows a bunch of precocious disrespectful kids on US TV shows and while we might not want a return to 'Leave it to Beaver' some balance would be desirable.
Posted by pelican, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 6:58:57 PM
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Dear Max,

Fractelle has summed it up beautifully.

My parents instilled in me :

"Always be a Lady, no matter where you are,
For as a Lady you will achieve much and travel far!"

And, you're right, it may somehow appear rather
'quaint,' by today's standards.

Yet, I'm
still firmly of the belief - that what is important
is the content of our children's hearts and minds,
or what is often described as character. When we say,
"It's what's inside that counts," we speak a simple
but profound truth. Respect, loyalty, a sense of fair
play, decency, and good manners, may sound like modest
ambitions, but in today's culture they're not as easy
to achieve as we might think. I'm grateful that I've
managed to surround my children with a sturdy sensibility,
a world view, and one that was different from the 'Me'
mentality of modern culture. I'm extremely proud of
the adults, my two boys have become.

The "door ceremony,' in
which men open doors for women - is interesting.
As feminists point
out, just as interesting as 'why,' men open
doors for women is the question - 'which,' doors they
open for women: is it the symbolic doors that
lead to positions of power, wealth, and influence?
Posted by Foxy, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 7:19:08 PM
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Thankfully my wife still likes to be treated as a lady. She is happy to have a door open as many times as I am willing to open it. I like to go to a shop and feel like I am not an inconvenience to shopkeeper or sales person. Unfortunately many sales people have no idea these days. I go back to shops where I experience a few basic manners.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 7:37:23 PM
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Good Evening Max,

I hope this finds you well.

Etiquette and manners are important and still used, as far as I know. Little kids are taught to say please and thank you, not to talk when grown ups are talking in my house unless their hair happens to be on fire. Children are also specifically taught to be polite and use manners with each other.

My husband still opens my car door for me and all females whether they want him to or not. I help him carry in the shopping, if heís lucky.

Kind Regards,

Julie
(is it manners to have aliasís?)
Posted by Jewely, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 8:27:37 PM
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