Living – Life – Large Sept. 14, 2023

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If you’re one to look up occasionally and take note of whats going on around you, you may have had the feeling that our manners are being misplaced. It might not be so evident in the cities, but is extremely noticeable in rural America, where smiling and waving once ran amuck.

Since we were in lockdown while being conditioned for compliance and people were hidden behind a mask. These people behind a hidden face became unashamed and more brazen towards other people. People became rude, more aggressive, and tossed their compassion to the wayside. They used their masks to emulate highway bandits obscuring and canceling their identity.

Studies are coming into public view showing that people have indeed become deliberately discourteous and more aggressive. Rudeness and disrespect have become contagious. When someone becomes upset because of constant impoliteness from others, they are then more likely to adopt the same attitude and spread this loathsome attitude even more.

According to one survey, which was conducted in January, they found that 61 percent agreed there was more rude behavior than in the past. An additional ABC NEWS poll found 73 percent of Americans felt people’s manners were worse today than 20 or 30 years ago.

This increase of rude behavior is being linked to weakened ties in the workplace and community relationships. There is a greater disconnect because of technology and a lack of self-awareness, gossiping on cell phones in public and badmouthing. Americans across the country are saying that we have become unmannerly than ever.

If the largest slice of technology had to be chosen that has had an impact, it's the cell phone. They are the constant source for darkening the heart and driving people to not have empathy for other people.

People also are blaming parents for not instilling courtesy in their children in this popular culture for encouraging rude behavior. Also, a sizable number of respondents to the survey, 41 percent, admitted they were often sometimes part of the problem themselves.

In America, we often discuss questions of etiquette and manners. Inventions such as movies and the telephone stirred fears of making the next generation more vulgar, or even depraved. Some thinkers have also dismissed etiquette and manners as being relatively trivial compared to serious issues of morality.

Defenders of the importance of politeness say manners govern virtually all of our everyday interactions, from dealing with co-workers, to waiters, to people we pass on the street, and are a reflection of the age-old principle to, love thy neighbor.”

It’s about the daily assault of selfish, inconsiderate behavior that gets under people’s skin on the highways, in the office, on TV, in stores and the myriad other settings where they encounter fellow Americans. Bad behavior is now highlighted on television where rude people become temporary superstar personalities.

A lot of people of today believe good manners do not really matter and they were installed as a bunch of rules made up by old dead people. Some manners are arbitrary and honestly, no hats indoors, no elbows on the table are harmless and perhaps personal choice is involved. I was raised though, with the constant, Danny get your elbows off the table,” which still echoes from my past.

People forget that manners are not insignificant, but kindness, courtesy and compassion are also contagious! Acts of kindness and compassion uplift others and inspire them to do the same. You have the power to start a ripple effect with acts of kindness, compassion and just good manners.

By manners that matter, Im speaking of manners that have a clear and definable purpose of showing compassion and kindness to other people. Your words and actions have consequences in how they touch the people around you; manners make sure that they affect others in a good way. Manners are a true social lubricant that makes sharing in both private and public spaces with other people, better for everyone.

Going to work, going to restaurants and shops, and using any public space like roads, sidewalks, and parks is going to be better for everyone if we're all being considerate and compassionate to those around us. And this matters because, like I mentioned earlier, kindness is just as contagious as cruelty. When you're kind and polite to others they will be kind to you. It will circle back around to you.

Etiquette and manners are something we all should know and practice every day. Learn to say ‘please,’ ‘Im sorry,’ and ‘thank you.’ How can this be anything but good? There is nothing wrong with getting off your phone and having basic table manners. We can ask for permission, speak with kindness, respect others’ privacy, learn to give genuine compliments and above all, help other people when they are in need of a helping hand.

I’ve tired of the constant rudeness and hostility that I have witnessed of late. I believe it is time to engage in doing better. We have the command to restore better, if we’re frequently reminded. When we see the wisdom of improved guidelines, kindness then becomes an awakening. We find the empowerment of self when you raise the bar of access to those around you, be nice and feel the peace that follows. - dbA

You can find more of the unfiltered insight and the Art of Dan Abernathy at Please subscribe to my YouTube channel, The Intrepid Explorer!