Are Good Manners Becoming Extinct?

Something that I just need to get off my chest:  what happened to good manners?  Saying please and thank you or holding a door for someone seems to be almost extinct at this point.  I was asked, not long ago, by a lady why I greeted people when I saw them at the post office.  My response was that I was taught that it was good manners to do that.  She seemed surprised by my answer and the fact that she was a lady who is several years older than I am caused me to be surprised by her response.  She said, “Yes, but nobody does that anymore.”

This caused me to ponder where it became acceptable to not use good manners in everyday situations.  When did it become a chore to thank people who waited on you in a retail or restaurant situation?  When did we decide that we didn’t need to say “please” when we ask for the salt or pepper.  Heck, recently, I noticed that people don’t even ask for the salt or pepper to be passed, they just reach in front of you to grab it themselves!

Now, these may seem like trivial issues/incidents, but consider this:  what starts out trivial tends to grow and become more widespread and more common.  If we can’t be polite to people, do we become more disconnected?

Speaking of disconnected, I was taught that it was bad manners to not pay attention to the other people at the dinner table.  I notice today that entire families or groups are sitting at the dinner table in a restaurant and everyone (parents/adults included) are on their phones/tablets.  Sometimes I will notice a group where everyone is texting and no one is talking.  I want to ask if they are texting each other!!  What happened to having conversation over the dinner table and sharing in a very personal way with the people you are dining with on any occasion.

I simply want to suggest that simple things like face-to-face conversation, please and thank you and holding a door for someone could be all it takes for us to pay more attention to each other, show that we value the people around us, even strangers.  Perhaps we could change the direction we seem to be going by re-establishing some simple good manners.  Just a thought….end of rant.  Thank you!

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