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Why Manners?

Grade: 7 | Year: 2009

What is it with people these days? Always cutting to the front of line, taking that last movie when it was clearly yours, letting the door close right in your face, and the people who just won’t stop talking! But now that I think about it, we've probably all been one of those "people" once or twice. We all know we're not supposed to act like rude people, but in certain situations, it's hard to remember not to. To avoid this image, we can simply try to be polite and use manners.

When we were all young, our parents "trained" us to use the pleases and thankyous, to share, and to be courteous to the people around us. Now, all of those things are common sense to us. Although, there are many manners that we don't know, and some of them are pretty ridiculous! For instance, it is actually impolite to say "pardon" after blowing your nose in front of someone. The correct response is "sorry" or nothing at all. Have you ever written in red pen? It is considered disrespectful to the reader if you write in coloured pen other than blue, unless of course you are a teacher. If you're planning on having a conversation with someone any time soon, listen to these tips. You should never have your hands on your lap when you are talking to someone, and never tilt your head when listening. These gestures are said to show disinterest in the topic. Who would think that there was a proper posture for having a casual conversation with someone?

After hearing all of those manners, you're probably wondering who came up with all this funny stuff? Well, Today no one is really sure where it all started, but we are guessing that in prehistoric times people discovered that acting pleasant around each other made life more enjoyable. But what we do know is that many years later, in the 16 and 1700's, French Royal Court nobles started making up rules and called them "etiquette". These men claimed that they were, as usual, bored so they came up with manners to have something to do! Because of this, etiquette became a subject in schools for children to learn. Could you imagine bowing before your teacher? For a long time, children were taught to kneel before their teachers, not speak until spoken to, and sit with their backs completely straight! If you compare this to today, we have it very easy. Most of the French rules have been altered or completely removed since then. That is a relief!

So sure some manners are silly, and they were made up by some bored French court people 300 years ago, but they are not that bad. In fact, think of a world without them. No one would say thanks for a favour, or give a favour in the first place. Everyone would be unbelievably disgusting with their mouths wide open with food and slouching with there stomach hanging out of their shirt. There would be no decent conversations going on because everyone would be yelling at, ignoring, and mocking each other! Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? Even though being polite can be annoying, it is what keeps the image of civilized human beings in our minds.

We all know we're not supposed to act like rude people, and now we know what it would be like if we did. So next time you're in one of those situations, try to remember to be courteous to others, wait in line, give up that movie, hold that door, and let someone else talk, PLEASE?