What distinguishes humans from apes? Manners and etiquette. Without respect and consideration for others, we are nothing more than savages.
There are no concrete rules or laws regarding manners and etiquette. In summary though, having good manners is showing courtesy and respect for others in all situations and circumstances. There is no excuse for for being rude, offensive or disrespectful … ever. Caring about others is what manners are all about.
Manners and proper behavior have evolved over centuries from customs, conventions and protocol. Manners promote a civil and harmonious society.
Let’s not forget that the way we behave determines the way we are perceived by family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and strangers. With that in mind, lets take a look at some very basic manners:
- Open doors for women, the elderly and the disabled.
- Hold the door open for those immediately behind you. Don’t let the door come slamming back on them.
- Use the terms please, thank you and excuse me lavishly. Make it a habit.
- Don’t shout. It is rude and annoying.
- Don’t interrupt someone who is talking to you. That person’s voice is as important as yours.
- Don’t swear. It’s low-life language.
- Don’t point. It’s a low-class gesture.
- Don’t eat, drink or smoke in the street. It’s the action of a commoner.
- Eat with your mouth closed.
- Don’t talk when food is in your mouth. Others don’t want to share your hamburger.
- Don’t gang-up on someone else.
- Don’t gossip.
- Turn away from people, food and your phone when you sneeze or cough.
- Show respect and consideration for the elderly and disabled.
- Smile. It illuminates your face and attitude.
I go through periods of time when I need to read these basics daily … and several times daily. I am working on making these times far less frequent.
Manners is what changes a man and a woman to a gentleman and a lady. The rewards are worth the effort.