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Good Manners Matter

I am of the generation that are considered “baby boomers”. I am also considered a Viet Nam era veteran and I grew up during the height of the civil rights movement. It would take me an entire book to describe all the things that I have had to learn and to unlearn in the years that I have lived on the planet thus far. I would like to just mention something that disturbs me as I get older. My perspective just might be attributed to the fact that I have grown up in a different generation. According to Family Search…while there is no one way to describe an entire generation of people accurately, here are some general characteristics that tend to be seen in baby boomers:

· Baby boomers value relationships. As they grew up, there was a growing belief in the value of spending time with family and friends. This belief was in part due to economic growth and increasing labor laws, which led to more free time.

· Baby boomers are goal centric. They were raised with the idea of the American dream, and they push themselves to reach their goals.

· Baby boomers are self-assured. This generation has confidence in themselves and their abilities. They influenced the culture of the nation greatly, and they believe that hard work makes a difference.

· Baby boomers are resourceful. During their lifetime, members of the baby boomer generation have witnessed some of the greatest technological advances in history, and they often have learned to use the resources available to them. Baby boomers often learn to fix things themselves.[1]

Each generation has its own set of manners (the way you behave towards others), customs, courtesies, and nuances. If I were to ask those much, much younger than I am to tell me about the outdoor games they play with their friends, it would not be marbles, red light, or Simon says. Hopscotch might even be a stretch for most. The truth is that so much has changed since I was a girl. Technology has taken life to a whole different level. I wish that I had cherished the time that I spent outside playing with my friends a bit more than I did. I never knew how quickly those days would be behind me and that my grandchildren would miss out on what was completely normal for me. Today, young people spend an enormous amount of time indoors, gaming, watching the television, and on cell phones. Oh, wait everyone both young and old spend an enormous amount of time with electronic devices. It is simply the age of information, but all information is not good, not wholesome, and certainly not the truth.

There is one thing that is supposed to be ageless though and that is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect is defined as due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. As human beings created in the image of God, we have a right to be respected as such. To respect a person is to recognize their worth. One other thing is having good manners. As a child, one of the first things that I can remember being taught is to say, “please and thank you.” You rarely hear either of those words anymore. I was shocked when a lady asked me the other day how I was doing. She did not know me, and I had certainly never met her and I almost fumbled, “well, thank you and you?” I almost tripped the other day when I was going out a door and some people were coming in. They opened the door and held it open, waiting for me to come out. I of course thanked them, and they just nodded as if it was the natural thing for them to do.

One of my pet peeves is condescension. It is, to me, arrogance, and ignorance at its best! How dare you think that you are better because you are of a certain race or gender, have more money, more education, more rank, or a title. Oh, how ignorant is the one who is condescending. In times past, this behavior got you labeled as an educated fool!

· “Good Manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them.” ---Bill Kelly

· “Politeness is the first thing people lose once they get the power.” ― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

· “Freedom of Speech doesn't justify online bullying. Words have power, be careful how you use them.” ― Germany Kent

· “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”

---Fred Astaire

Calling all Baby Boomers to action! Let’s show ‘em how it’s done!

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