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Mind Your Manners

I appreciate polite people, people with good manners! I make an effort to be polite to others in hopes that I would receive the same shared respect. To be honest, I’ve found that most people that I’ve come in contact with display good manners.

"Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience.”- Theodore Roosevelt.

Exhibiting good manners is not a sign of weakness, but one of kindness and godly conduct. To have good manners is not a religious ritual, but a human action. However, for the believer in Christ, we are held to a higher standard of good behaviour in all areas of our lives.

I don’t want to be petty, but encounters with rude individuals can off-set a moment or one’s whole day. Have you ever sent someone a text message, an email or called someone and asked, “how are you?” They answer you and say they are well, but don’t ask you the same question in return. Is this something to be annoyed about? Or should it be ignored? What about the repeat offenders? Should they be educated on common courtesy? Are there protocols established for correct responses for different interactions?

Have you experienced those who ignore your “Good morning” when you enter your workplace, or those who evade you at church so they wouldn’t have to greet you with a “praise the Lord”? During the summer, as I do my daily walk, I see people running into the streets, and sometimes into traffic, trying to avoid another person walking beside them. Some were taking the concerns of contracting the COVID-19 virus too far.

To bring balance to the subject of manners, there are those moments where someone honestly didn’t hear you, where you were caught up in what you were doing, or you were focused on where you needed to go and you missed someone trying to connect with you. These instances may occur once in a while. But, when it was pointed out or you catch yourself, then a genuine apology is made and a salutation given.

My mother told me as a child, “Education and money may take you far in life, but good manners will take you where education and money can’t take you”. Some parents have taught their children to practice the principles of “please and thank you”, “good morning or good evening” and other mannerly practices. Unfortunately, there are those individuals who don’t care to practice good common-sense manners, simply because this proper behaviour means nothing to them.

Romans 12:10 states, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”. Along with kind words and appropriate responses, proper manners include behavioural actions like respecting others time, handling someone’s property with care, holding the door open for the person walking right behind you, and the list of so many good practices goes on. Are you guilty of any of these offences that would deem you as lacking good manners? Take a moment and consider how you would like to be treated and do your best to honour others with that same respect.

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