Good manners are to be acquired and cultivated. Tie sooner it is done the better. Childhood is the best period for learning and imbibing good manners. These cannot be bought or transferred. It is in the early formative years that good conduct, behaviour and manners are to be grown and developed. That is why in all good schools there is so much emphasis on teaching and learning good manners. Catch them young”, is the saying which applies here also.
Good manners mean good social behaviour, personal conduct and character. In other words it is the proper and accepted way of behaviour and doing things. Good manners make life smooth, easy, enjoyable and meaningful. Man is also an animal, but it is good manners that separate him, among other things, from the rest of the animals.
Man is the crown of creation and the measure of everything. God created him after himself. Man is rational, intelligent and civilized. He does not live by bread alone. Good manners add new “leaning and significance to life. They work like a good lubricant to make social dealings and behaviour pleasant and charming. It is through good manners that we can promote social harmony, love and friendship with other fellow men. An ill-mannered person is never liked. He is avoided and considered socially unfit. Good manners help us a lot in escaping many ugly, untoward and bitter situations; they may be described as the foundation of ethics and good social behaviour. For example, it would be ill-mannered to be rude, impolite, snobbish and vulgar in company and society.
Wood manners are a sure key to success. They are a valuable possession. They help in making friends, winning over people, and in obtaining appreciation and admiration. In business and service they are essential. If a businessman is rude or a salesman impolite, he is sure to lose much business and profit. Similarly a doctor or a lawyer cannot afford to be impudent and insolent. A bus- conductor, a booking clerk, a man at the reception counter etc. are supposed to be well behaved and good mannered to attract clients and customers.
Even in our personal and private life they are a big asset. It is good manners to thank for a service, guidance or a gift received. To respect the elders, to wish them or to give them precedence is always a good behaviour. It is disgraceful not to treat the visitors politely and with die respect. Similarly, to ill-treat animals, abuse people, spit here and there, behave arrogantly, show ill-manners. Likewise while travelling in a train, we will be considered ill-bred if we keep a whole berth to ourselves and stretch on it while others remain standing helplessly. Wood manners demand that we accommodate others and give due consideration to elders, senior citizens, ladies, children, handicapped etc.
Observation of the rules of the road, respecting the queues, helping the weak, old, children, women etc., show fine breeding, sound conduct and good manners. Wood behaviour demands that we put our handkerchief or hand on the mouth or nose while yawning or sneezing. We should never fail to say “sorry” or “excuse me” when we disturb others or cause them even the slightest inconvenience. Manners make men and morals.
Hot to be punctual or not to keep an appointment is again bad manners. It does not behoove us to keep people waiting or to disappoint them in such cases. If there is any delay on our part, because of some reason or other, we should explain it and then apologize for the inconvenience caused. Similarly, if there is any postponement or cancellation of an appointment, better if it is communicated well in time with proper apology. It is quite uncharitable not to apologize and regret delays, postponements or cancellation of meeting and appointment. In this matter political leaders are the worst offenders.
Good manners reflect how properly cultured, civilized art educated we are. They reflect refinement and social enlightenment. Ill manners bring bad name to parents, teachers and institutions. Proper emphasis should be laid our learning good manners in the very early days of life. There was a time when young princes were sent to courtesans to learn good social behaviour and manners because the courtesans were supposed to be embodiment of refined manners and conduct. Good manners can be learnt from others.
They are to be developed and imitated. Good manners make lasting and favorable impressions. Looks and dresses may be deceptive but manners show the real man. Use of such courteous and polite expressions as “thank you”, “please”, “excuse me”, “sorry” etc., on appropriate occasions make social behaviour and intercourse so pleasant, smooth, meaningful and rewarding.
It is not possible to keep count of all the good manners. They are too numerous and go on increasing with the advancement of culture, civilization and evolution of life. It is certainly bad manners to hurt the sentiments and religious feelings of others or not to listen patiently to others; we should never throw banana or orange skins, rubbish, bits of papers etc., here and there. They should be thrown into the dustbin.
It is also a bad habit to spoil the walls of the public places, lavatories, parks, monuments etc., with obscene drawings, figures and writings. Plucking of flowers leaves etc., in the public parks also shows bad manners. It is also bad manners to harm and destroy public property or to smoke in public, particularly when others object.
Wood manners are required in every walk of life. At meals, in meetings, in queues, in the schools and libraries, restaurants, theatres and houses, everywhere they are needed. Wood manners help us to get on well with others and ourselves. Wood manners are a reward in themselves,” for they are self-satisfying and pleasing. Without good manners man is but a brute and barbarian.