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Where are our manners?

Back in the days of my youth, I often heard the question, “Where are your manners,” when I would commit errors in etiquette, like saying “excuse me, or I’m sorry,” or other expressions used to express remorse. Or sometimes the expression came in the form of a rebuke, like “watch your manners young man.” A remark like that usually drew attention.
These little expressions have come back to me many times, on my journey down the road of life. What in the world has become of good manners? People from the youngest child to senior citizens seem to have strayed away from showing respect for other human beings around us. There was a time when one of the prerequisites to becoming a grownup was to master what was referred to as the art of good manners, or of etiquette.
I’m not sure if it is the tumultuous days that we are living in, when everyone is so busy trying to get ahead in the world to pay any attention to manners, or if the lack of good manners has led to the situation we find ourselves in as a town, state, nation and world. I have a little book on etiquette that was published in the late 1800s, and it is hard to believe how much some of the rules on the subject have changed. If the same rules were in effect today, I don’t know how we would make it through a day.
Have you noticed that people today who don’t agree with us on a subject seem more interested in hurting us with words than in attempting to change our way of thinking. I can’t excuse that type of behavior, whether it be about health, education, or any of the many problems facing us at this time. I have to admit that I am just as guilty as the next person on many subjects, as you have probably learned by the reaction of citizens to some of the things I write through their letters to the public forum.
A few years ago country singer Kenny Rogers was giving a concert at a fair in Wisconsin. A woman in the audience broke out of the crowd and ran to the stage and threw a pie in his face. It turned out that the person throwing the pie was an animal rights activist, and she was lashing out at the singer because his roasted chicken franchise had announced plans to open another outlet. After mounting the stage, the woman was wrestled down by guards. I wonder if her unmannerly action did anything to discourage the new business.
In a country where so much emphasis is put on love, why do we have so much hate talk. One day I accidentally got in the way of another driver who was in a bigger hurry than I, and when he got a chance to pass me, he gave me the finger and yelled out a string of profane words. I’m sure he wasn’t pleased with the way I was driving. I suppose I may be one of the world’s worst drivers, because I get this same reaction much too often.
Much of what we see on T-shirts is not fit to read, and certainly not fit to be displayed on a person’s back. I noticed one that read, “I hate referees.” I wonder if that man once came out on the bad end of a call by a referee. Then again there are some people who just naturally love to have someone to hate. Let’s work on our manners folks. We’ll feel better if we do.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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Where are our manners?

Back in the days of my youth, I often heard the question, “Where are your manners,” when I would commit errors in etiquette, like saying “excuse me, or I’m sorry,” or other expressions used to express remorse. Or sometimes the expression came in the form of a rebuke, like “watch your manners young man.” A remark like that usually drew attention.
These little expressions have come back to me many times, on my journey down the road of life. What in the world has become of good manners? People from the youngest child to senior citizens seem to have strayed away from showing respect for other human beings around us. There was a time when one of the prerequisites to becoming a grownup was to master what was referred to as the art of good manners, or of etiquette.
I’m not sure if it is the tumultuous days that we are living in, when everyone is so busy trying to get ahead in the world to pay any attention to manners, or if the lack of good manners has led to the situation we find ourselves in as a town, state, nation and world. I have a little book on etiquette that was published in the late 1800s, and it is hard to believe how much some of the rules on the subject have changed. If the same rules were in effect today, I don’t know how we would make it through a day.
Have you noticed that people today who don’t agree with us on a subject seem more interested in hurting us with words than in attempting to change our way of thinking. I can’t excuse that type of behavior, whether it be about health, education, or any of the many problems facing us at this time. I have to admit that I am just as guilty as the next person on many subjects, as you have probably learned by the reaction of citizens to some of the things I write through their letters to the public forum.
A few years ago country singer Kenny Rogers was giving a concert at a fair in Wisconsin. A woman in the audience broke out of the crowd and ran to the stage and threw a pie in his face. It turned out that the person throwing the pie was an animal rights activist, and she was lashing out at the singer because his roasted chicken franchise had announced plans to open another outlet. After mounting the stage, the woman was wrestled down by guards. I wonder if her unmannerly action did anything to discourage the new business.
In a country where so much emphasis is put on love, why do we have so much hate talk. One day I accidentally got in the way of another driver who was in a bigger hurry than I, and when he got a chance to pass me, he gave me the finger and yelled out a string of profane words. I’m sure he wasn’t pleased with the way I was driving. I suppose I may be one of the world’s worst drivers, because I get this same reaction much too often.
Much of what we see on T-shirts is not fit to read, and certainly not fit to be displayed on a person’s back. I noticed one that read, “I hate referees.” I wonder if that man once came out on the bad end of a call by a referee. Then again there are some people who just naturally love to have someone to hate. Let’s work on our manners folks. We’ll feel better if we do.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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