Manners maketh man…

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.”

Source :

“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 :

  1. Basic manners : ‘Please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘excuse me are never over-rated.  Inhale civility, exhale manners and gratitude.  The universe IS listening, karma too.
  2. First impressions are lasting impressions :  Handshakes, maintaining eye contact, humility, consideration and a dash of chivalry would not go amiss.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Display conduct befitting decency : Plainly put, no one can physically see inside. While it matters that good exists, it needs to be reflected outwardly.
  6. 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 and final image available from


33 thoughts on “Manners maketh man…

  1. Nice post and good writing. Manners, interesting aspect. Is it rude to comment on the manners of others based on our understanding of manners? What about emergencies, are manners even required then? I’m not disagreeing with you, but I think too often we project ourselves onto others and expect them to live and abide by our values, when they do not, we are disappointed in them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thoughtful post. Yeah. People don’t seem to have filters, anymore. Behavior modification starts in diapers. Without some “home training”, we all might be running around naked, pooping in each other yards like stray cats, I suppose.

    Some of it is cultural. Example: Back in 2006, I was lucky enough to meet the band members of Journey & Def Leppard. The DL crew were very polite, soft spoken Brits that shook our hands (despite their badass rocker status). The Journey crew was quite different. We had established an expectation of a handshake from the Brits and when we attempted the same with Journey, they recoiled. Neal Schon, in particular, was horrified based upon the look on his face. British culture had differing “manners” from the Americans.

    To me, manners is a form of respect. There are many that not only don’t respect others, they don’t respect themselves. This all gets back to the behavior modification in diapers. If the parent has respect issues, so will its offspring.

    Just my fours cents (adjusted for inflation)…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Address people by their names. Don’t know it? Try Sir or Mam.

    I always do a mental name association when I meet people in an effort to remember their names.

    Respect yourself, it is a mirror.

    Absolutely! If you lack self-respect then your ability to respect others is non-existent.

    Respect for others, as you would want to be.

    Treat others how you want to be treated. A rule I live by.

    Mind the elderly, your turn will be here soon.

    I tell Blake, my son, that so many times so much so that he has started quoting it himself.

    Respect the animals, be their voice, they need you,


    Maintain eye contact in conversation, neither the shoes nor the bosom will be verbal.

    I scare people when I do this. I come across as intimidating but I still do it out of respect. 🙂

    Not sure how to respond to a question, respond with a smile.

    Agreed! Or simply say, “Wow!” Wow, can be interpreted both positively or negatively. 🙂

    Clean shoes, clean fingernails, Everything Clean, the lack of this shrieks volumes.


    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • My friend, I fear I’m too much and I scare people too. I always give a shock factor and when they take it in their stride, I suspect there may be hope for the relationship. Blake is going to be a great young man with all your teachings. I send a hug from my precious family to yours. 🤗😘

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good manners were instilled in me, though I remember the time when I was a thoughtless, self-absorbed youth. My parents and other family members and neighbours never gave up, though, and I live each day imparting respect to those around me-and to myself. “Wayward generation?” Millennials and Generation Z are no different, in their youth, from us Baby Boomers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello my travelling friend, thank you for your perspective. Yes, it is the core of morality. My Dad used to say, “wisdom is wasted on the youth” in his light hearted moments. We learn, it all gets banked and re-surfaces and then horrors! We sound just like our parents. Once the realisation sets in, its a good feeling, we learned and lived well. Now if only others would get on board.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well Said, and I agree with you! I notice this all the time these days. Perhaps social media plays a part. The younger generations are plugged in with less personal interaction, most behind the screen. It’s something they’re growing up with, which is fine, but it’s all about finding a balance. Maybe it’s how they’re raised. I’m sure there are many factors, but when I do receive great customer service, I don’t hesitate to let that person know. Doesn’t a compliment put a smile on any face? Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. True… A balance needs to be found. Its actually appalling how far we have digressed. Customer service? A rare find and always worthy of praise and gratitude. In putting this out there, I try not to preach but send gentle reminders and create awareness for the little things that make great things. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sadly the Youth Culture in this part of the world (UK) have not got a clue – it’s absolutely appalling how manners have slipped out of education both in school and at home. Very sad that one day some of these ‘mannerless’ children may be the leaders of the country :o(

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wonderful post! Thank you for articulating what many people are experiencing. In the US, we are desperately in need of a return to civility both in government and in our daily lives. Today, I ventured out for groceries and had to endure the few people who refuse to wear a mask. For older people like me, their “political statement” can be life-threatening! This goes way beyond rude! Good manners are no substitute for compassion, but they are a step in the right direction! ❤ Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cheryl, it’s because of people like that and the youngsters that insisted on celebrating the end of their school careers with wild parties of sex and drugs that our numbers have spiraled. No masks and disrespect.
      Their parents bowed to their decisions to party. Some parents too, have forgotten the basics in civility and respect.
      Very disconcerting and beyond sad.
      Take care as best as you can and stay safe. Let’s try to make the end of this year and happy despite the gloom. 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Like the suggestion on ‘No Ted Talks’ and “No vlogs’ etc. These ‘external’ systems are perhaps meant to make us feel that by watching them we have done our bit. I think it is a way of shirking your responsibility.


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