Manners maketh man…
What is it about today’s generation who lack good manners, who do not or are incapable of exhibiting a sense etiquette, tolerance, a smidgeon of kindness and a whole dollop of respect for other human beings? Is it our fractured existence and the shaky foundation of our growth, the “entitled” generation or the permissive, selfish adults from that upbringing or lack of upbringing? Whilst some of us may have grown up with the indoctrination of this proverb, sadly most of civility lacks Manners.
The origin of the proverb ‘manners maketh man’ was apparently derived from the works of William Horman (circa 1440 and 1535). A school principal at Eton School in England, Horman wrote ‘Vulgaria’, a book bearing that Latin title which means ‘everyday adages” or ‘common sayings’, ‘manners maketh man’, being one of them.
It is also purported to be in existence for centuries before. I care not so much about the originations as I do for the existence or rather the lack of its existence in society of present times.
Simply explained, the proverb ‘manners maketh man’ translates that that politeness, good manners and civility are essential to humanity.
“Manners means being polite and cultured. Maketh here means to complete, perfect, or create. Man refers not just to men but to all humankind. So, the proverb is extolling the virtues of good manners.
This proverb is thus often used as a way to remind people to be polite. Good manners can apply to several aspects of human life, including how we speak, the words we use, our tone of voice, our gestures and our actions.
Sometimes, this proverb is taken to mean that good manners are what distinguish humans from animals. They are, quite literally, what ‘make’ us human.
The idea that manners ‘make’ human beings can be unpacked further. If make means to make perfect, good manners are the finishing touches to a human’s personality and behavior. If make means to create, the proverb is suggesting that humans are definitively created by their manners.”
“Guidance” taught then at primary school was necessary, a mere extension of the upbringing echoed from solid, functional homes. Fortunately, the simpler living then allowed for a resident full time parent to remain at home, as compared to the rushed, almost frenzied pace “lifestyle” of modern days, which necessitates that both parents be breadwinners. In that short passage of time with the absence of one parent (and elderly grandparents being farmed out to old age homes), how is it that, personalities have crippling dents in their personal frameworks?
Let me correct myself right there. The subject of “Life Orientation” was then introduced in secondary schools. Hardly a taboo subject, nothing to be scoffed at, yet the educational system is knocked for initiating this. Marks for jam, I heard scholars say. If so, why do the results leave much to be desired? Simple. The importance and impact of this subject is glossed over.
Such is the behaviour in our already fractured existences that our core of morality is being eaten into and savagery has been let loose.
Ideally, good manners are should be intrinsically essential to what makes us human, good manners play an important role in keeping all aspects of social life running smoothly. Being polite and thoughtful avoids arguments. Respectful manners help us to work well with our colleagues.
Missing simplicities :
- Basic manners : ‘Please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me are never over-rated. Inhale civility, exhale manners and gratitude. The universe IS listening, karma too.
- First impressions are lasting impressions : Handshakes, maintaining eye contact, humility, consideration and a dash of chivalry would not go amiss.
- Scholastic Pioneers : School children are valued for their good etiquette by teachers. It sets the tone for the remainder of their educational life, builds relations and encourages a decent social platform and adds value holistically.
- Conflict prevention : Tolerance prevents conflict. It is advisable to put yourself in someone else’s shoes momentarily. Minding the defensive body language that is seen as offensive, seek to gain an ally. Like discretion, let manners too be the better part of valour. Violence and savagery can be avoided.
- Display conduct befitting decency : Plainly put, no one can physically see inside. While it matters that good exists, it needs to be reflected outwardly.
- Development : Good etiquette promotes development, improves networking, especially career wise; it underlines and improves the strength of a team.
Forget the Ted Talks or vlogs. Simply try to improve :
- Address people by their names. Don’t know it? Try Sir or Mam.
- Respect yourself, it is a mirror.
- Respect for others, as you would want to be.
- Mind the elderly, your turn will be here soon.
- Respect the animals, be their voice, they need you,
- Maintain eye contact in conversation, neither the shoes nor the bosom will be verbal.
- Not sure how to respond to a question, respond with a smile.
- Clean shoes, clean fingernails, Everything Clean, the lack of this shrieks volumes.
Had any interaction with returning goods at a store or online? There is a distinct lack in the world of customer care; the implementation of these is a diamond and would make one almost beyond reproach.
A pauper with good manners is preferable to “esteemed” individuals without manners. Stature in society is ornamental, manners are not. Remember that scene with Colin Firth in Kingsman? Whilst I do not advocate it, I totally understand why he turned ninja on them.
Manners may differ from country to country but these fundamentals should be intrinsic and common worldwide. Agreed?
Penultimate image courtesy of pinterest.com and final image available from pixshark.com