Where Are Our Manners?

Posted by Heather
In life
12Sep 10

     When I got home from work the other day, my husband told me he’d taped a show for me that he thought I would be very interested in.  The show was a CBC Documentary called ” Rude: Where Are Our Manners ? ”  I could tell just by the title that I was going to enjoy the show, since I am constantly talking about the fact that I’m absolutely appalled by the behaviour of many people towards other human beings.

     I have written several blog posts over the past 3 years or so that have touched on various aspects of the subject.  The most obvious ones are:  “Common Courtesy” ,  “Think Before you Speak“, “Turn It Around“, and “Are They Kind?”.  I have always felt very strongly that although my upbringing may have been considered by some to be “old -fashioned “, my siblings and I were definitely taught to treat others with kindness, compassion, and patience.  We did not think we were better than anyone else, nor did we believe that our time was more valuable than anyone else’s.  We were led by example to be polite, modest, and gentle – traits which I still hold dear.  Unfortunately, in today’s society, these are also traits that seemingly get you “walked all over”, while the vile, self-absorbed, loud, obnoxious, over-confident people steamroll over everyone and everything … but I digress …

     I finally had a chance to watch the documentary ( which turns out to be a couple of years old – we just hadn’t heard of it before ) last night.  I felt as though someone had crawled into my head, and put all my thoughts out there – they pretty much covered every angle of how there has been a breakdown in manners and courtesy, particularly since the 70’s.  They mention how parents from that decade and on have been instructed to teach their children to be self-confident, ( which, in itself, is a very good thing ) and that they can have anything they want.  The problem is, parents need to temper this with showing their children self-restraint, compassion for others, and making it clear that the world does not revolve around them.

     I totally understand that things are much more difficult for parents these days, when more often than not, both parents must work to try and pay the bills.  There seems to be less free time, more stress, and kids just don’t get the ” quality time ” ( also, discipline !!! ) that we did with our parents, back in the day.  Many parents are literally too tired, drained of energy emotionally and physically, and just don’t have it left in them to disagree with their childrens’ every desire.  Of course, this leads to spoiled rotten, self-centered kids that can’t see beyond their own wants ( which they mistake for needs ).  They grow up to be selfish, uncaring adults, and this is why we now have such big problems.  Ask anyone who works in the Customer Service Industry in any way – people, for the most part, are not patient and kind.  It is disgusting how many people treat others with disrespect.

     I highly recommend everyone view the documentary online – it is well worth your time.

     There is also a wonderful book mentioned in the documentary that I think every child should read – it is called  ” Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct ” .  

     Come to think of it, there are a lot of adults who could benefit from reading that book, as well …

     Anyway, I am glad that I am not alone in the fact that I feel people must teach their children while they are young, to care about others.  It will benefit everyone, in the long run, and make life a lot more pleasant for us all.


  1. Tani Schwarz, September 12, 2010:

    I couldn’t agree more! I will watch the documentary soon.

  2. Sherri Eustace, October 6, 2010:

    Thanks for sharing this amazing piece. It was right on with the “ME WORLD” attitude that sadly our society portrays these days. I too am thankful for my upbringing and being taught to have respect for others.

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