We live in a society where so many things from the past make a re-appearance. A society in which we constantly have to be on the lookout for the latest trends. Well, it’s about time we revisit the discipline of being well mannered and make it trendy. A well-mannered individual is one characterized by his/her positive attitude and behavior towards others and understands the ultimate rule of life, which is ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.
Manners however cannot be borrowed, it is a form of etiquette that can be cultivated and groomed slowly. So it’s never too late to acquire the skill of being a well-mannered individual. Although some may consider this attribute as insignificant, it plays a paramount role in living in a civilized and conducive society. They are key to being well-mannered and being aware of the finer details in life. Words like ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are very significant and can change the dynamic of a conversation.
As a loyal taxi customer, I always have conversations with taxi drivers as I make my way to work. The one thing they always tell me is that after dropping off a customer and hearing the words ‘dankie my pa’, it really makes them feel like they are actually making a difference and that customers appreciate the service they deliver.
I too share the same sentiments, as working in an environment in which most of my colleagues are fairly young and saying ‘Thank you’ isn’t a necessity for them. So when I hear one of them say ‘Thank you for opening the door, Faith’, I know that some level of respect still exists. Manners however go deeper than then saying ‘Please and thank you’ and the foundation of this discipline is respect as these two attributes are inseparable.
At times we think that only children need to be taught how to conduct themselves in a respectful way but we as young adults struggle to act respectful in many cases. The other day a friend of mine told me how embarrassed he felt at one of his social group meetings, as some of the members laughed dramatically when he pronounced a word wrongly. I then thought to myself how this could have happened. I mean one would expect that from fourth graders. Living in a country like Namibia and knowing that indigenous language’s effect the way in which people pronounce words, for example the Nama/Damara people would say’ jellow’ instead of ‘yellow’ and that’s really not something to laugh about, it isn’t even funny. It came to me like an epiphany and I realized that young adults lack basic skills, manners and fundamental respect. Let’s not even blame parents or our upbringing because we choose to act and behave the way we do. Being well-mannered is a conscious decision made on a daily basis.
An educated and esteemed professional in society is worthless when it’s not packaged with manners. Moreover I would rather associate myself with some one who has no title but respects me as an individual. So the next time you approach someone or get into a cab you might want to act in a well-mannered way, you’ll be surprised how it compliments your day.