Saturday, 28 November 2015

Are we losing our manners?

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, other than lies and stealing, it’s someone not showing manners. Growing up as a kid there was no option. It was as necessary as the air we needed to breathe. You wouldn't dare show disrespect, not least to your elderly. I remember how it was the norm to call someone around ten years or so older than you “aunt” and “uncle” – not just those related to you. It was called respect.

Many of us change as we get older. Some for the better, some for the worse unfortunately. I know I myself have changed but one thing I've tried really hard to hold on to, is manners. It’s so easy and it doesn't cost anything. Luckily there are millions out there who still have amazing manners and it’s always so pleasing to see.

I've always been very proud of my little girl, Jessie’s, manners and it’s always pleasing for a parent when someone praises her for it. She has a golden heart too and the two often goes hand in hand. Just the other day she illustrated this once again when walking pass a homeless man in the city, she asked if she could give her hot dog which she hadn't even taken a bite of yet, to the man. She stood there watching him from a distance with genuine care and I could see how happy she felt that he had something to eat.

Wouldn't the world be an amazing place if every person in this world showed the same amount of care to others? We quickly forget our purpose on this piece of land. It doesn't even belong to us, yet we’ll fight over it, tell others we have more right on it than what they have. I sometimes think as individuals we give up too easily because we think we can’t make a difference. That there are too many people out there not sharing our beliefs and principles. I think that’s where we go wrong…… I do think there are more well-mannered and caring people on earth than there are baddies. But we’re too caught up in our own thing and worry too much about ourselves. We think we can’t change the world – as individuals I'm sure we can’t, but we can change individuals and as one we can go a long way to changing the world. There’ll always be evil, but it will have little impact if it only makes up for 1% of the globe.

Back to Jessie….. I was struck this morning by a one liner Skype message I received from her in reply to me trying to arrange a time for us to chat. We haven’t been able to talk all week and all of last week neither, and I've sent her a few messages trying to arrange an appropriate time to talk. Of course I was delighted to wake up finding a message of hers on my Skype but unfortunately my mood was dampened straight away when it read “I can’t I'm going to chestifer”. No good morning papa, how are you? Just a one liner. It’s not how I know my little angel so it’s quite deflating. I did manage to quietly laugh about the chestifer which I presume was meant to be Chesterfield, lol.

It’s not the first time and I've spoken to her about the importance of being respectful and to show manners at all times, even on a social chat platform and she listened at the time. She had a very old mobile phone then and she blamed it on the fact that it takes forever for her to write something, which I could sympathise with. One wouldn't normally encourage 9 year old children to communicate via that platform but society is changing, kids are quickly becoming more IT intelligent at a younger age and it provides the best form of communication for us – we just need to stay on top of it with regards to safety as well as the method we communicate in, not forgetting manners.

It then made me think….. Are we living in a time where social media has become so dominant that the speed of which we write to one another is causing us to put things in short, emotionless sentences, if we could even call it a sentence? Are we sending messages across to one another that misinterpret ourselves or is it becoming such a habit that we actually forget how to communicate with each in a proper, well-mannered and respectful way? As technology moves forward, society seems to go backwards. I'm not sure if that’s a good thing.

I've not been able to speak to her since, although I did reply with a very polite message reminding her not to forget her manners even in a message. When there are miles between you and your daughter and she only sees you one or two days a fortnight at most, it becomes even more difficult to be the “bad parent”, nagging, and it’s a risk you take because you want to do everything in your power for her to love you and not give any reason for her to dislike you but hopefully one day she’ll appreciate it and realise you did it because you love her more than anything and just want her to grow up being the beautiful, wonderful and caring person she is. “I hate telling you off my angel as much as you hate being told off, I promise you. Papa loves you to the moon and back my skapie xx”.

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