In our high-paced, busy lifestyles, sometimes the most basic things get left behind and forgotten. Today’s parents are working full time jobs, sometimes multiple jobs, to provide for their families. Where before, parents had more time to spend at home with their children. Teachers are focused on their school curriculum. We check grades, scores, and reports. We worry about the courses they they take to insure their future professions. But do most parents take the time to try and instill morals and manners? Your child could have a 4.0 GPA and numerous Degrees, but if they are rude, and don’t know how to be respectful in public, is that degree going to do them any good in the future? Nope.
Now, I realize most parents teach the basic “Yes Ma’am” and “No Sir”, but what about manners on the phone, or proper behavior in a store, or when making appointments? And are you setting a good example of this yourself? Times have changed, and in this world where we don’t even go to the bathroom without our cell phone, and we run from one appointment to the next, etiquette hasn’t seemed to evolve. So, lets take a quick course in the forgotten art of Manners…. for modern day….
Let’s start with when making a phone call to a business. First, go to an area where there is minimal noise. Turn down your tv or radio, walk away from your friends, wait til the baby stops crying, you get the idea…I hope. Please, spit out whatever gum, food or candy is in your mouth and speak in a clear tone of voice. Then, when the person you are calling answers, GIVE YOUR NAME. ” Hi, this is Blah Blah”. This is nice to know BEFORE you get into the reason for the call. Ask for the correct person to address your need. Get to the point. The person on the other end of the phone does not need to know all the circumstances that lead up to you making your call. The magic words, “Please” and “Thank you” never went out of style…..USE THEM!! Write down the info you are given. It is YOUR responsibility to remember the information you are told. Not the person on the phone’s responsibility to remind you.
When on your phone in a public place….remember, this is a PUBLIC PLACE! If the conversation gets emotional, or loud, tell the person you will call them back when you leave. Save your opinions, profanity, wild stories, or other inappropriate information for the privacy of your car or home. I don’t want to listen to your foul language in line at the department store and I can guarantee you that mother in line doesn’t want her kids to hear (and possibly repeat) what you are saying either. And those employees in that store are not there for your every wish and desire. They are there to do a job. Don’t make it any harder. You are not at a playground, or a club, act appropriately.
And finally, when you are being seen, treated, waited on, served, whatever situation that requires face to face interaction, PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE! Anytime you enter a professional office or business, your phone should be silenced and put away. It’s common courtesy. You WILL survive this short period of time without texting, checking social media, or watching videos. Give the person in front of you your full attention. Do not text while you are being spoken to. Be respectful. Just because this person is working, and trying to accommodate your needs, does not mean they are any less a person than you. Always treat people as your equal…….because they are! Also, people make mistakes. This is not an excuse for you to be rude. Always ask yourself if you would want to be talked to the way you are talking to that person. Try to be pleasant and kind to everyone and you will find that you will be treated the same in return.
Often I think back to how I was raised and think to myself, “If I had acted like that my Momma would have knocked me into next week!” (not really, but she would have straightened me out quickly!) Are people so self absorbed today that they don’t find it necessary to treat others with respect? I understand that with email and texting, regular conversations are much less common than they were when I was young, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for poor attitudes and bad manners. Teach the basics…Manners, Morals, Respect, Courtesy, and no matter if your child grows up to be a CEO or a janitor, you will be proud of the adult they become!
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32