Friday, 20 January 2012

Where have all the manners gone?

My son commented the other day that he found some children at his school "not kind." His choice of words intrigued me. When I probed a bit, the examples led to me to classify the behaviours as bad manners. And it is not only children who seem to have lost some of the social graces, if signage at Calgary businesses is any indication. Since I moved to Calgary, I have seen posters asking people to behave respectfully at the DMV, hospitals and even our private community association. Sadly, I thought if you were old enough to read such signs, no one would need to correct your manners.

 Before the holidays, I had my children give the bus driver a bag of homemade treats. My son bluntly asked, "why would I want to give her a treat when she is not kind?"
I suggested that if we bestowed kindness on her, it might encourage her to behave more kindly. We arrived at the bus stop and another boy also had a gift bag. I said, "Oh a present for the teacher?" He said, glumly, "No my mother made me bring something for the bus driver, but I do not know why, as she is not nice."

When I encounter the signs requesting politeness, it reminds me how important those social behaviours are. I figure if my family is extra polite maybe some other will follow suit.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

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