The Importance of Manners

I thought of titling this post as, The Importance of Manners in the South, but that wouldn’t be as broad as I wanted it to be. Right now my family are residing in the Southwest, which I wouldn’t even put in the same category as the South considering the vast difference in cultural and societal ways. I was born here in the Southwest and stayed until I was about 17. From the age of 17 on, I lived in the South and quickly had to learn and adapt to entirely different way of life. I also had to adapt and compromise with my husband who was born and raised in the South.


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He wanted to raise our children with the same exact value, morals and dare I say ideals that he was. One of the biggest importance was manners. Now I would lump respect into this same particular thing, but saying yes ma’am and yes sir isn’t only about respect, it’s about manners – being polite. I had no problem with this compromise or this adaptation. I was not raised to say yes ma’am or yes sir. I was not raised with a strict rules of respect or manners. And there is nothing wrong with that or my mother’s style of raising me as a child. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with placing a high level or importance on how a child MUST have manners.

Before we go even farther into this, I will say that in fact the manners my children have are best in public and not in our home. We still though do not let the manner enforcement stop because we are in the comforts of our own home, but we are also not as easily embarrassed about it either. The importance though, is not to hide our embarrassment or save face in public. The importance of having manners is about being recognized as functioning humans with respect for themselves and others. I truly think that is why manners are important. I realize ‘different strokes for different folks’ but when look at the whole entire picture, is it wrong to value courtesy and going an extra mile in being aware that you are NOT the only person in this world?

I am probably going off farther into the deep end of this idea and focusing on something other then the simple concept I originally started with. The Importance of Manners. And it is important. It is very important in the South. You not only respect your elders, but you will see they will respect you back. All females should be answered yes ma’am or no ma’am. All males, yes sir or no sir. Everyone in a restaurant should be able to enjoy a meal without grown men belching or children running. You hold doors open for people, you wait your turn and you say thank you. You do these things from the heart and the enjoyment of doing it. Not because you are told or have been raised that way. One of my favorite things to do here in the Southwest is respond to everyone with my manners and respect. The older crowd always have a sparkle in their eye when I do it.

The entire importance of manners is not about who and what you look like. Nope. It’s about the fact that you are a caring and respectful individual that is aware of others presence and not just yours.