What the heck has happened to manners? Did they just disappear? If not, they certainly are taking a hiatus! I am simply amazed by the language and lack of manners that is predominate in our society these days. Why, even famous people, athletes, and politicians don’t mind being crude, blunt, and to the point of being obtusely rude with foul language and lack
of civility!

Growing up in the Deep South, we were taught to be gentlemen by our parents. Every question and the answer was started or finished with a “Yes Sir” or “Yes Ma’am.” It was a given that we use magic words like “Please,” followed by a “Thank You.” To this day I still open doors for ladies, and assist an elderly or handicapped person if allowed to.

Do you have manners? If so, who taught you? If you seem to have a lack of, then there’s no time like the present to correct that deficiency. Even Dear Abby started a campaign years ago with her simple booklet on “Good Manners.”

While we don’t want to blame everything on our education system, there is a total lack of respect for teachers and administrators in our schools. If we look at society, we can trace some of this downfall to our family units over the past 30-40 years. With both parents working and children becoming “latch-key” kids, there exists a growing lack of parental responsibility to the effect that we now have disrespectful adults raising disrespectful kids, compounding the challenge. What are these kids
exposed to for poor influence? Well for one thing, popular music with incredibly foul language and explicit sex acts is described, and what’s on TV isn’t much better.

What’s the cure? I might be so bold as to describe why my single mother was successful in raising three boys by herself. The answer was “structured activity,” plain and simple. If we were not at baseball practice, we were at band rehearsal, and if not that, we were at Boy Scouts, and if not that, we were at church doing activities with our youth group, if not that, we
were at the library checking out books to read. In other words, we didn’t have time to get in trouble. All the time we were subjected to male and female role models where respect and good manners were reinforced. Fred Astaire once said “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”