Today as I was exiting the gym at the YMCA, a woman about my age was entering. I very nicely held the door open for her, and to my surprise, not a thank you, grunt, smile, nothing. I was irritated to say the least. It’s already 107 here, so this just added to my irritability. As I drove home, I thought to myself, where have all of the manners gone?
As a teacher, I work everyday to get my students to say good morning, use manners when speaking to other adults, and to each other, and to care about their classmates. I expect them to take off their hat in the classroom, look me in the eye when speaking to me, and to not back talk their parents or other adults in front of me. As you have probably already figured out, I’m not the most popular teacher on campus, but that’s o.k. I know that when I go home each night, I can feel good about what I’ve done in my class, and if being kind to each other is bad, then I’ll be the bad guy.
I know as a parent it’s a lot easier if we just ignore bad or disrespectful behavior. It creates less drama in our lives, and our kids like us better. But come on people, couldn’t you just teach your children to be kind to one another? Be respectful of another human just because they are human, or better yet, do something nice for someone or the earth. It will make them feel good and you’ll be a proud parent in addition to, people will smile at you, and as a classroom or family unit, just think how much more we can accomplish being kind and using manners.
So, next time someone opens the door for you, how about a shout out of “thank you” and a big smile? You never know who you will be making feel better just because we brought manners back into our lives!