Bad manners will be our downfall

SJ is part of a local writers group in Senoia that meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 a.m. at the Senoia Library. You can also follow more of her writing at creativejuices-sjcox.tumblr.com.

The south is steeped in rich tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Though it has been suppressed a lot since the south lost the civil war, it hasn’t disappeared altogether. Not being from the south, when I came to Georgia I met some very interesting people who were born and raised here. It was through them that I discovered that gentlemen and ladies still exist and cotillions and coming out balls still happen. It was through them that I found that traditions are still being taught to some men on how to respect a lady. These are traditions I thought had long since died in our society.
My parents used to tell me stories about how as youngsters they were required to take etiquette classes. In these classes they were taught proper ways to behave in a formal setting, the proper order to use specific silverware in a place setting, and the steps for specific ballroom dances. At the end of this forced etiquette class they were then required to attend a formal party in which they could show off all that they had learned.
Well it is definitely apparent that times have changed. People have become so self-centered and unaware of others that it’s hard to distinguish prince charming from the frogs. Not many men hold doors for women or offer them chairs anymore. Some of that could be due to the women’s lib movement in the seventies. Women were seeking equality and so now those of us seeking romance have to pay for it.
Perhaps I am just being a crotchety old lady, but as the age gap widens between myself and the newer generations, I was reminded of just how self-centered society has become. In this day and age everything is readily available at your fingertips. Everything from fast food to in-home services is available at the touch of a button, and so people don’t have to waste any time thinking about unimportant things. In fact I witnessed this inconsiderate attitude the other day when ordering at Dunkin Donuts. A young man in his twenties was ordering something, but no one could understand what he wanted because they couldn’t hear him over the loud music he was blaring over his speakers. After making his order he continued to play his music at a loud volume as he waited for his order, all the while disrupting everyone else’s peaceful Sunday afternoon.
Now I don’t have any children, but it is becoming very apparent to me that if I did it would be very important to teach them the proper manners. So to every future parent out there, please, please teach your children to be more considerate. I would hate for them to become the downfall of our society due to bad manners.

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