What happened to manners? I grew up with typical parents and learned manners. It was imbedded in us to have good manners, to be polite, treat others like you would want to be treated, and to just be kind to others.
I remember taking a class in high school and they taught proper telephone etiquette, how to introduce others by using their names, shake hands with a firm grip, formal letter writing, and so many other valuable pearls of wisdom. At the time I thought it was rather silly, but I learned some really great life lessons in this class that I still use daily.
I still write hand written notes on stationary. When I write, it is so much more heartfelt than writing a text or an email. I know when I receive a personal note in the mail I am thrilled, but it doesn't happen too often.
I try to instill these traits in my girls, but it is so difficult when we live in 2012. This has become a society of no manners, no morals, no values, and people just don't care. One of the main reasons I believe in manners is that it teaches respect of self and others.
Please, thank you, a smile, a nice gesture, holding the door open for someone, returning the grocery store basket to the basket corral, letting someone in your driving lane, are all things I do routinely and am laughed at for. Why? It is kind. It is thoughtful. It is good manners. Is being kind, thoughtful, and good mannered a bad thing? Heck no!
I try to lead by example when it comes to my children and this is one area where I somewhat shine. Granted my kids aren't the best mannered kids, but they do have manners. Here's a funny example: my eldest daughter used to be friends with a classmate, but over time the classmate's true colors have shined. SG says she isn't really friends with her any longer because she doesn't have manners. Looking for my reason I asked why and was told, "she's mean, she takes things without asking, she uses mean words, she lies, and ..." the list goes on. That makes me feel good like I have taught SG something.
Another thing I have taught the girls since they could scribble is to write thank you notes. No, they don't particularly like to, but they do it. When birthdays and holidays come around they now ask me for the note cards so they can write. My hope is that they will find joy in it as opposed to being a chore. When they see the flip side and receive a thank you note or other piece of correspondence they are thrilled.
So, go out and be kind and use your manners. Remember that what comes around goes around. All those manners, good words, and kindness will be returned to you!