Manners maketh man !?

Dear friends, I'm going to ramble a bit but bear with me.  I'm  sure that where ever you get together together with people for a chat, it is not long before one or other of the following subjects crop up - violence, in the US it seems to be shootings in the UK it is would appear to be knifing or road rage where a fellow driver irks a person and then someone is reaching into a car to beat someone up!  

You break up with your girlfriend throw acid over her so no one else will have her.  Government officials, hospital staff  verbally if not physically abused.  The shop assistant who balancing a phone, continues to talk on it as  they take money from you.  The businesses who do not reply or think that they owe you any explanation or return letters or calls.  You spend hours looking for a present  for someone but do not receive any acknowledgement the gift was received let alone a thank you. The generally rude indifferent speech of the world's elites etc. Well, you get the picture.   On the face of it, you may be thinking what have manners got to do with any of this?  

I think a lot, over the centuries people honed etiquette and code of manners, why did they do that?  They were wise, they knew that the basic human nature was not wonderful, with few exceptions it was self-centered, greedy.   Hot-headed actions without thinking and this is dangerous to life and limb,  by extension it is dangerous for whole societies and countries. Gradually over centuries little set pieces, little pathways of behaviour evolved, these slowed actions down and gave people time for reactive anger to be controlled. It was displacement action, you do this so you don't take other rash actions. Other etiquette customs prevented people or countries from humiliating each other.

Etiquette rules demanded you acknowledge others, always thanked for services rendered etc. people learnt to modify speech.  All the committee rules to keep anger at bay most of the time. Now formality has been thrown out, who needs rules, it is all about me, I don't have to think.  Do as you would be done on to. I don't have to think about anyone else, I have RIGHTS is the shout. The obligation thing is too often disregarded and thought of if it is thought of at all,  it is noted as for fools.  This all has to be redressed if we don't,  fate or nature will do it for us. It is a horrible thing to say and I hate even thinking it but I fear we will suffer a world war, a pandemic of some kind or perhaps it is the climate change, a disaster to re-calibrate human values.  

But how? well, that I do not know...

 

 

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Comments

  1. roseinbloom

    Rockflower, I agree with everything you say and you also started me thinking. Manners were created because people knew that human nature was corrupt. That is true, for sure, but I have always been naive and think people are better than they are. For example, of manners evolving from distrust, the salute and handshake was to show that no weapon was in the right hand. But there is more to manners than some may think. Once we get to know a person, we get a chance to know them and to learn to like them or not to like them, but if you don’t like them; you won’t get belligerent and real aggressive.
    Also, you present yourself in a better light more later.

  2. roseinbloom

    Part 2. We all need to be reminded that under the good manners, and depraved person could be hiding, or a wonderful person, so don’t assume that good manners is indicative of a good and nice person. Good manners means the person has been well trained. It does also need to be said that if decent manners are practiced we could all get along on one level.

  3. Rockflower Post author

    I was thinking more of the value of codes of behaviour in general life, civility among politicians, between clients and businesses, authority and citizens. between people who are basically strangers to each other I know this is an over stating things but it seems now, that someone does not like the way you look at them, something you say the immediate response is to lash out, sometimes with extreme violence. Life has become very cheap, many are fully prepared to wipe out a life without much thought. Politically people of different parties cannot even talk to each other. Every thing bad is the other party , there is no balance. Some countries have almost become ungovernable because of this. I think Belgium actually had no government for nearly a year because politicians could not work together. Northern Ireland is at loggerheads now. Polite social discourse seems in danger. When you think of more personal contacts I absolutely agree……..good manners can be a kind of disguise. I am a born North of England girl Roseinbloom, I was born with a genetic distrust of ‘charm’. Come over as too charming and bells start pinging in my head. I would have to have time and proof to trust such a person LOL! I am aware the sociopath uses charm as a cloak and a tool of manipulation.
    I am more seeing polite good manners as being an aid to slow people’s anger, to aid them in putting themselves in the opposing people’s shoes so to speak.To be able to rationalize and work out some agreement and safe action. I fear this is so very dangerous because in comparison, those countries with autocratic governments seem more settled and successful. This allows the ultra Right and ultra Left groups in our countries to appeal to more people in general. Such people may be misguided but I don’t think they are ‘good’ people. With out the rules of polite reasoned response, these groups have permission to act and become more bold. This is what I find so deeply scary .I think in addition to this ,many in Western countries are beginning if not already. feel that Capitalism is failing them. But it is late and that is whole other blog LOL…..Sleep well Roseinbloom…..

  4. Rockflower Post author

    I was thinking more of the value of codes of behaviour in general life, civility among politicians, between clients and businesses, authority and citizens. between people who are basically strangers to each other I know this is an over stating things but it seems now, that someone does not like the way you look at them, something you say the immediate response is to lash out, sometimes with extreme violence. Life has become very cheap, many are fully prepared to wipe out a life without much thought. Politically people of different parties cannot even talk to each other. Every thing bad is the other party , there is no balance. Some countries have almost become ungovernable because of this. I think Belgium actually had no government for nearly a year because politicians could not work together. Northern Ireland is at loggerheads now. Polite social discourse seems in danger. When you think of more personal contacts I absolutely agree……..good manners can be a kind of disguise. I am a born North of England girl Roseinbloom, I was born with a genetic distrust of ‘charm’. Come over as too charming and bells start pinging in my head. I would have to have time and proof to trust such a person LOL! I am aware the sociopath uses charm as a cloak and a tool of manipulation.
    I am more seeing polite good manners as being an aid to slow people’s anger, to aid them in putting themselves in the opposing people’s shoes so to speak.To be able to rationalize and work out some agreement and safe action. I fear this is so very dangerous because in comparison, those countries with autocratic governments seem more settled and successful. This allows the ultra Right and ultra Left groups in our countries to appeal to more people in general. Such people may be misguided but I don’t think they are ‘good’ people. With out the rules of polite reasoned response, these groups have permission to act and become more bold. This is what I find so deeply scary .I think in addition to this ,many in Western countries are beginning if not already. feel that Capitalism is failing them. But it is late and that is whole other blog for another day LOL…..

  5. roseinbloom

    Rockflower, You were wisely taught to avoid charm, but it is hard to do; charm is very seductive. Good manners should include honesty and kindness, but charm usually does not and charm is a dangerous thing.
    The palaces have vast systems to define how things should be done so everyone know their place. Fergie, was left out of a wedding, so sometimes the system fails and pettiness take over.
    We need kindness and compassion and honesty in the conduct of human affairs along with protocol and manners.
    I admit that I don’t recognize a charmer and am too trusting of others.

  6. debraj

    Things have changed, that is for sure……..and in some respects, very quickly. The horrible ‘F’ word is now common language for many. I was in the grocery store. I was going by a woman scolding her son. She was so loud. What she was saying made sense, until she used the ‘F’ word to him. He must have been 9 or 10. I was literally shocked, my mouth open, stopping dead in my tracks. I hear the word and many others at work now from those who are suppose to be professionals. The break down of boundaries started years ago, but seems to be speeding up. Maybe the I I me me generation (s) should stop saying the word, RIGHTS and start saying the word, PRIVILEGE. Just a thought.