17 December 2006

Ranting over loss of good manners

In an open forum, someone asked, "What happened to good manners?" And this old fashioned lady put on her best cranky old woman and began to rant:

We were all taught in public school and on TV that we were the most important people in the whole wide world, and nobody could hurt us. We could do anything we wanted as long as we didn't hurt anyone. No one wanted to tell anyone else what to do because it might hurt their feelings, or they might get sued for trauma. Children were not taught at home because both parents were out working so they could have more TV and movies that showed them how to be the best smart-alec, the best goof off, and in the 70's, it was the best to cheat the police cause they were a bunch of idiots anyway.

Parents listened to people who told them that their own parents were wrong for giving them rules, and that everyone had the right to determine for themselves what they felt was most appropriate - which in a capitalistic society, generally becomes what's best for "number 1." We've raised a bunch of self centered children who never want to grow up, but who don't in fact live in never land. Since they don't know what to do about it, they teach their children nothing. Parents who cared about manners found themselves in the minority and gave up, thinking themselves "the only ones". They said to them selves "No one says excuse me anymore", instead of teaching young people and their co-workers to say excuse me, by example or instruction. Polite people were made fun of, and being in the minority, or so they thought, gave in and let everyone walk all over them, instead of standing up for what they believed in - respect for others. It may be polite, but "polite" doesn't mean what it used to, because now it has the connotation of being a sissy, a wuss or a prude. Or worse, "old fashioned."

I'm all for a little old fashioned myself, and I'm trying to do my part by saying "thank you" and teaching my children to do so too. But people look at me funny, and my own family laughs at me for trying to instill in my children the joy of giving at Christmastime - saying in front of the kids, "Oh, sure, giving is the best. Hahaha!" Christianity and Judaism have gone the way of selfishness, with mega churches and rock and rap music geared towards doing what makes you feel good and fit in with everybody else, instead of what makes for true peace, and serving one another. I won't even touch the separation of church and state issue. And there are more reasons.

But this question was asked in a forum full of people who have little to no idea what social graces are, as we sit here behind little glowing screens and say whatever we want, however we want to spell it, because in the end it really doesn't matter. It's just a computer with no heart or brain. And I just happened to be in a mood for being a little grumpy about all the "Christmas spirit" that gets talked about and praised, but never fully lived, except maybe in a little toy bought and thrown in a Marines' anonymous can for children without anyone to teach them manners or love or respect - just, "hang in there and you'll get stuff every December 25th. You deserve it. Cause you're the most important person in the whole wide world."

photo from Fotosearch Stock Photography and Stock Footage, Royalty Free Images
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