Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I get really mad when I encounter people that don't have good manners. I used to try to figure out where this short-coming began, but it's one of those "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" type questions. Let me explain-

I spent about 3 hours watching my aunt's- a public elementary school teacher- 3rd grade class one day while she went to the dentist. Those kids were monsters! Not only did they not say please for anything, most the time they didn't even ask, they just made statements about their intentions. Instead of hearing "Can I go to the bathroom? Can I go get a drink? Do you have an extra pencil I could borrow?" I heard "I want to go the bathroom. I need a drink. My pencil broke." And then they would just stare at me, waiting for a response. Then, if I did give them whatever it was they wanted, no thank you was involved. They simply turned and walked off leaving me dumbfounded. On top of all that, these kids were uttering more curse words in the course of a few hours than I think I've said in my life! And they were using in them in such context that were even making me blush! I fully realize that no 3rd grade child is going to sit at their desk quietly, waiting to speak until spoken to, but really? Kids don't even say please and thank you anymore?

So, I began to to teach them manners. I wouldn't grant any requests until the question was asked in a tone that was not hateful or annoyed, a decibal not ear-splitting, and please had to be included at least once. And if there was not a thank you given before they walked off, they were going late to lunch. Ha! I'll teach these kids whether they like it or not!

Soon after, I realized the lack of manners isn't just found in children. It's everywhere. If you want proof, just go to Wal-Mart. People do not say excuse me when squeezing down an aisle, and most don't even thank you for holding open a door. So while my tactics with children were a little more sensitive, I have taken to blatently pointing out when an adult forgets their manners. On more than one occassion, after holding open a door, I have turned and said "You're welcome for holding this door for you" when they didn't thank me. Or, when I person is knocking past me in an aisle, I've been known to say "The polite thing to say is 'excuse me." Most of the time, the result of my comments is a thouroughly embarrassed adult. And that's the thing, I don't think people are rude and doing this on purpose. I think that a lack of manners has become habit, and I am making it my personal mission to reintroduce manners to both the young and the old in Wal-Marts all over the country. :)


Ashley said...

Amen Sister. I had to teach my first graders in choir this manner stuff every week