Good Manners Don’t Come Easily

Please, please, please pass the peas.
Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.
You’re welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome.
Nice manners are a very nice touch!

As a preschool teacher, part of my job is teaching manners. We sing the above song at Thanksgiving, and sit in a circle passing around toy peas. Then we make manners fun by singing the song faster and faster! When we line up to wash our hands for snack in two lines, we teach the boys to say, “Ladies first!” and the girls walk first to the bathroom. Of course, we also want to be fair to the boys. They walk first back to the classroom. As I pass out snacks, I encourage my students to say “Thank you,” or “No, thank you.” When they leave the classroom to go home, they say “Goodbye” to each other. It’s often said that it’s the little things that count, and they really do.

I started off this post, as you can tell by the title, ready to complain about people who have lost the good manners they learned in preschool. I tend to remember when I’ve been wronged rather than the good things people do. When I was thinking about this post, however, something happened to change my perspective. I had called and left a mom a message about school related information which didn’t require a call back. A few minutes later, the mom called me back to thank me for calling her. It was such a small thing, and yet so nice.

Strangers hold the door for me all the time when we’re entering the same building. If I’m grocery shopping on a busy Saturday afternoon, people in a crowded aisle say “Excuse me.” When I pick something up for someone who dropped it, I’ll hear a “Thank you” in return. Sometimes, even drivers are courteous and let me turn when I have the right of way.

Yes, there was that lady who was NOT going to let me get in front of her at the school drop off lane, even though it was my turn. There’s always that person at the grocery store who is going to get her shopping done quickly no matter who is standing in the way, even if it means bowling over that old man leaning on his cart. Someone will always dart in front of me when a cashier opens a new register when I’ve clearly been waiting longer. Bad manners are everywhere!

Will you think that I’m too much of a Pollyanna if I try to forget the bad manners and remember the good? It’s not an easy thing to do!

But maybe if I try to remember the good manners people show, the next time that lady cuts me off in the drop off line I’ll be more ready to smile and let her go–instead of using a certain hand gesture that most certainly does not show good manners.

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Do you use good manners, or are you just rude? Link up your manners post here, and visit my co-host Gretchen to see her Spin on manners! Please use #SpinCycle when you promote your posts, and don’t be rude…visit at least 2-3 links!

Gretchen and I will post next week’s Spin Cycle prompt on Monday. 🙂


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11 Responses to Good Manners Don’t Come Easily

  1. Having just returned from Disney World, I have to say, there are a lot of rude kids out there. But there are also a lot of very polite kids. Jude ALWAYS says “may I please…”. And all the kids at his school have lovely manners. So I guess you’re right, focusing on the positive makes the world a more positive place.
    Gretchen recently posted…Spin Cycle: The GentlemanMy Profile

  2. Good for you! Nice to know there are still some kind-hearted people like you in the world. I live in a place where it seems so many people have forgotten their manners—it’s very frustrating! I try to smile at them anyway but it isn’t always easy. I may smile on the outside but it’s a good think they don’t know what I’m thinking on the inside sometimes!
    Marcia @ Menopausal Mother recently posted…One Size Fits NoneMy Profile

  3. I use good manners nearly all of the time and have always taught my kids the same. It’s so nice these days to see teenagers with manners because there are many that don’t.
    Jeanne recently posted…AppreciationMy Profile

  4. You know – you are so right. I’m always ready to complain about the notable times I encounter rude people. However, it’s notable because it’s not nearly as often as the time I encounter wonderful manners. I would be surprised if I see it even once a week. You know what I see 1,000 times a week? People saying “please” and “thank you” and people letting me go when I’m making a turn in my car.
    tamaralikecamera recently posted…Stressing Less? While Doing More!My Profile

  5. I’d like to think I am generally polite and helpful most of the time, although I have definitely lost my cool. My favorite “nice” thing to do is let someone with a smaller grocery cart go ahead of me even though I was there first. Most of the time people take you up on it, although the other day someone declined…that was a first! And I had a huge cart.
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…The Stress Buster Edition {Ladies Only Blog Share}My Profile

  6. You are so right, all too often we focus on the negative and not all the positive of manners. Our grandsons correct me about some manner I have failed to use. I love seeing them having such good manners. Enjoyed your post.
    Janice recently posted…Thank Ya’, Ma’amMy Profile

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