Sunday, August 14, 2016

Manner are not minor

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
I saw you at the library where you were speaking and I want to thank you and encourage you in your work on the bullying issue, but also for standing up for manners. It’s so desperately needed right now.

I am by no means the etiquette expert that I wish I was, but I do care deeply about the issue and about the loss of this basic need in our society today!

My husband’s son, who is 21, is about to be married soon, and, while it is understood that we will be there, we had to ask him repeatedly to give us the actual paper invitation so that I could RSVP and be sure of the exact time to show up for the ceremony!

His verbal, “I think its 4 p.m.” just didn’t breed confidence. The invitation had been on the floor of his car for months. Finally, he went out to his car and got it for us only because we ran into him at a store the other day.

His aunt has yet to receive a paper invitation or even a Facebook invite for that matter. Yet, he expects her to come. She’s single and wanted to bring a date, but I had to tell her that I had read “no plus-ones” on the invitation. She was surprised and disappointed to hear this from me.

Our son’s grandfather also had to endlessly ask about his invitation. He needs to buy airline tickets and make hotel reservations. Grrrrr!

Technically, I may be guilty of gossiping and bad-mouthing my family, but I want to make it clear that I did not raise this son!

So many people think that etiquette is all about the snobbery of knowing all the rules, but it’s really about being considerate and respectful of other people’s feelings and time.

Mrs. Manners

Dear Mrs. Manners,

Talk about a breath of fresh air!

You have a healthy sense of humor about an issue that many in our current culture do not value, understand, or care about.

You’re correct in stating that manners aren’t about being pretentious and having pompous rules without any purpose. Manners mean that we, as a society, need to be considerate of others.

The definition of “considerate” in society means:

• Showing regard for the needs or feelings of others;

• Being kind, courteous, and aware of someone’s circumstances;

• Being attentive, thoughtful and mindful of others;

• Being focused on others and not yourself;

• Being careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others;

• Being social and polite to others;

• Showing respect and being gracious to others;

• Sharing yourself, your things, your knowledge, your talents with others; and,

• Being polite at the table, in our communications, and at social functions.

Since when did it become acceptable to be inconsiderate? Being inconsiderate means we are being rude, selfish, uncommunicative, and unable to care about our families, our communities, and our world.

The listed “rules” are actions that we all need to learn, teach, and practice as examples of a civil and caring society.

Let’s not let the current culture of joking and amusing entertainment be who we are as a society. We are better than this. Manners are not minor; they are the pivotal point of our value systems.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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