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Life Lessons

By Staff | Jan 24, 2012

Good manners are what I call “life lessons.” Learning good manners at a young age will benefit boys and girls, men and women all of their years.

A few months ago, I wrote a column about basic good manners. It drew some comments – all positive.

While visiting family in Texas over the holidays, I commented on my granddaughter’s boy friend’s good manners. That drew comment and actions from my ten-year-old grandson. He became a model of good manners — perhaps because he saw that it pleased his Grammy. My young man is still at an age where he enjoys hanging out occasionally with Grammy.

At Brooks Brothers this same young man spent more time looking at a series of books on display than he did looking at clothing in the children’s department. There is a series of books on manners, but what caught his eye was “50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know.” This book is “one stop advice for teaching manners to boys.”

The series of books at Brooks Brothers includes “As A Gentleman Would Say” and “A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up,” but isn’t limited to men/boys. There are also books for ladies: A Gentleman at the Table and A Lady at the Table; How to Be A Lady and How To Be A Gentleman. The online description refers to these books as “A collection of indispensable books personalized exclusively to Brooks Brothers, featuring sound advice about the manner in which a gentleman conducts himself in all walks of life.”

Childrens books on manners are available at book stores, and we all know that good manners begin at home. So why not start teaching good manners at home at an early age? Emily Post’s Table Manners for Kids might not be as entertaining as Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners written by Whoopi Goldberg. Even Clifford, the big red dog, has a book on manners.

Good manners are a must in your professional life, no matter what your job or profession. Have any of you watched Larry the Cable Guy’s program on the History channel, “Only in America”??He did a segment last season on etiquette and he came out as a gentleman.

Recently, there was an article online about office etiquette. With open office space, it is extremely important to be aware of other workers’ “space.”

This article pointed out “many people are living in their own heads and oblivious to their own rude behavior,” but their colleagues aren’t. Some of the complaints in this article were: discovering long hairs coiled in a bathroom sink; listening to endless graphic updates on medical conditions; the smell of popcorn or other foods; clipping fingernails at the desk; leaving lunches in the fridge way past the expiration date; and one complaint about a co-worker shaving her legs in the office ladies room sink. Thank goodness we don’t witness all of these questionable behaviors.

The bottom line is, manners do matter. I really believe there would be less “bullying” if we all had better manners. What we do and what we say serves as a role model for our young people.