Good Manners Outshines Capability

We have seen it before in many a con, good manners outshines capabilities so often. If people are well-mannered/polite, they are considered more intelligent, more personable, of higher caliber, better trusted, even if those things are not true. This is especially true if good manners are accompanied by good looks. And we see this play out everywhere. People buy it.

And on the bad side, that is silly not to dig deeper to the beliefs of a person and their actions and just buy their wares.

But on the good side, if we always respond with good manners and teach our children to do so also, we/they will be better thought of, will stand out, will be considered suited for better jobs. Manners matter.

So the point is to use good manners as often as possible and teach your children to do so also. And on the other side of the equation, look beyond manners at actions to see the heart of a person. This way we are being the best we can be in every situation. It is part of good stewardship, which God requires. We must be appreciative and wise with what He has given us.😄❤

The Right to Speak and Laugh

We all have the right to speak. We all have the right to laugh. And we have the right to offend anyone we would like to offend freely. We have the right to annoy people by laughing at a situation instead of crying. You have the right to annoy me by laughing loudly while I feel sadness. I have the same right. I have the right to say whatever I wish and you have the same right. The thing is that these rights do not always have an “until” button built in. Until you hurt someone. Until you make someone wish they were not. Until your words are responsible for the pain of another. Until there is an innate or learned “until” in your head, wisdom dictates you do not express that which you have a right to express. And those so easily offended need to harden up but those so easily bullies need to shut up. And somewhere in between these extremes should be the rest of us who wisely use our until buttons and exercise freedom of speech with good manners. Good manners should be taught by the parents and adults example or school and church if that is too difficult but good manners are good and make a huge difference. I wouldn’t say some things even though it is my right to do so because it is rude or bad manners or mean. I would never silence a laugh. Thank God for laughter. I believe it is God’s gift to keep some of us sane or alive during bad times or happy during good ones. Laugh, talk yes! But use good manners. We will all be better off. This friendly reminder brought to you by the little girl tired of good people being silenced by bad mannered big mouths.

Being Nice and Its Repercussions

Being reared in rural Michigan about 30-40 years ago, there was great emphasis placed on being nice. In fact, there was such a push for it that there were actually negative consequences when you were not nice, some making it difficult to sit down for a while. And it was explained in one way or another by a seeming multitude of people (parents, teachers, neighbors, random town folk, church folk, etc.) what being nice consisted of. And since I have noticed a myriad of people around about me and my children lately seeming as if they have not had similar lessons, I wish to share my “nice” knowledge with the masses. Perhaps some of my recent register workers or stock folk at some stores I have been in of late (and even managers, yikes) may read this and start applying its suggestions. Now, warning ahead of time, you may not ever get a reward for being nice. In fact, you may have severe repercussions such as surprise or funny looks or suspicion placed upon you. However, there may perhaps be some vague rewards like, oh I don’t know, a promotion or maybe a smile or gratefulness. The possibilities are endless. Here are some good starting points. 1. It is nice to look a person in the eyes who is speaking with you. This shows the person you actually care what words are coming out of their mouth and maybe even that you give at least some inkling of a care about your job. It also conveys something rare and mysterious as well as quite fragile… respect for another human being. Since we are all made in the image of God on purpose, we are all due this respect but be one of the first to actually convey that and you will come across as “nice”. This is a good thing, believe it or not. 2. It is nice to help someone who needs help. I know this is a little shocking, especially if in a hurry to do something for yourself, but no one is asking you to give up your heart while you are still in need of it, just a helping hand now and again picking something up, holding a door, bringing to attention when someone drops their keys, etc. These things are nice. You would want to be helped if you needed it, right? This particular step on the ladder to niceness may actually be met with thankfulness. Maybe not, I mean not everyone is nice, remember? Which brings us to 3. If someone nice helps you in any way, do say ” thank you” with a smile. Why? Because it is nice to do so. It is so much nicer than sticking up your nose as if the entire world should bow before you and your greatness. So smile and say “thank you” to anyone nice enough to help you with anything. Respect the rarity of that. Respect the nice help. Be nice back. We will leave it at these three practices as a good start. Follow these simple guidelines and you will find, oh shopper at Walmart, that being nice is very… well, nice.

Teaching Children Manners

The important task of teaching your children manners falls on the parents. It matters not if they are taught as a side note by a teacher at school or Sunday School. The first thing we need to remember is that good manners will not stick unless they are being modeled by the parent(s). Parents with bad manners produce children with bad or worse manners. So, children seem to pick manners up from example rather than instruction per say. Also, children with good manners generally have, if not a direct love and belief in God, at least a healthy respect for His creation. Good manners shows respect for people… there is a morality exhibited, a way to treat people. So parents must pass that along as well. In addition, good manners need to be reinforced. Until it becomes a habit of considering other people’s feelings, we tend to only consider our own and so the creating of good manner habits must push the individual against the current of me me me and that sometimes takes reinforcement with punishments. Next on the list is work ethic, a dying-but-I-wish-it-wasn’t thing in culture now. Having good manners requires some level of energy and the willingness to do work well. It also, in a similar vein, requires some self-sacrifice. Standing up while an elderly lady accepts your seat is a self sacrificing thing to do, a good deed, no heroic thing nowadays. You then have the follow up of standing until another seat becomes available or the duration of your wait. Horrors! However, along with the requirements and expectations of good manners, and reinforcement of it, there is also a fabulous twist you can bank on with your children. You can tell them with all honesty that they will always be rewarded for good manners and respectful treating of others. This is a true Biblical concept repeated in Scripture. When you do good things with no expectations in return, you will feel good but also will have a reward, either here on Earth or later in Heaven. And it is even better if your works are unappreciated because God blesses you more for those. These wonderful rewards and blessings promised for us are worth some discussions with our children about them. Sometimes the smile and thank you received will bless your heart or the job you get because you had such good manners in the interview will bless your pocket book, but regardless of those things, you make society better, uplift morale and make Jesus smile down from Heaven at you. Please, for all our sakes, take the time to model and teach good manners to your children. Your efforts are worth their weight in gold, literally in Heaven. 🙂