The baby boomer generation, perhaps more than any other, has seen incredible change in society and the way we live our lives. Some changes have been fantastic, technology for example has revolutionised the way we live! Others, not so positive. One of the sad changes is the demise of basic manners and the art of ‘being polite’.
What happened to our manners? As our lives have got busier, we’ve declared ourselves in too much of a rush to take a few seconds or minutes out to do something kind.
Maybe technology has become our main mode of communication and the human interaction — which manners are a large part of — has become redundant and therefore so have our manners.
Or perhaps it comes down to education and society as a whole, we’re focussed on casual lifestyles with less formal occasions. We’re focused on teaching our children how to be smart and intelligent but not the great pillars of a society as we once focussed on with equal importance.
Here are some of the things that once formed those ‘pillars of society’.
Writing and sending thank you notes
There was something so special about receiving and sending ‘Thank you’ notes. It was a way of showing someone that you truly do appreciate what they’ve done for you and with just a few moments for each letter, it was a few moments out of your day that contributed to someone else’s happiness. Saying thank you is something we still do, but actually showing thanks is long gone.
Remember when people gave actual RSVPs about their attendance to events and functions and hosts didn’t have to assume, follow up or cater for a larger number, just in case!
Baking for people
When a friend moved house, when they were sick, when they were looking after other people or when they simply had something to celebrate, we once would cook a meal, some muffins or a cake and deliver them in person. It was a way of showing that we cared and was a simple, cost effective way of simply doing something nice for someone else.
Taking your hat off indoors
It was the polite thing to do — you wore hats outside, for sun protection! If you were inside, unless you were at a wedding or a funeral, the hats were always taken off and placed down. We’re not sure why or where this tradition went but it definitely doesn’t happen any more!
Men opening car doors
Men are not taught to look after women as they once did and this means that they don’t often jump ahead to open a car door for someone. Some of this coincides with the fact that women began to object to this behaviour as part of the feminist stance that women are equal to men and deserve no special treatment. Regardless, it was a polite thing to do and respected women as ladies.
Keeping money and politics out of conversations
These were two topics off limits however now some wear their opinions and financial position like a badge of honour and actually use them to distinguish between company they’d like to keep and company they aren’t fond of.
Standing up when people enter the room
It was always a pleasant way of greeting people and it was a sign of respect, ultimately the thing we’ve lost most. Sadly, very few people are taught to do this now and it’s become a thing of the past.