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June 30, 2005

Manners matters.

For all the ways people worry about American society going straight down the tubes these days - violence, drug use, politics, loose sexual morals - what I miss most are just plain good manners. I really honestly remember a time when people were generally nice to each other, and at least were respectful to each other in public.

If nothing else, the last presidential election showed us that good manners and common respect are fast becoming a thing of the past in this culture (on both sides of the political fence).

This brief, easy-to-read essay is about just that, and is worth the five minutes it'll take you to read the thing. Thank you.

Posted by Dan at June 30, 2005 05:44 PM

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You're welcome.

Sadly, though, that boat has left the dock.

Posted by: Ara at June 30, 2005 05:55 PM

I don't think that particular vessel has left shore just yet, Ara. Sure, the last elections were mean, and America's tone in general is mean, but if the right people start playing nice, or call others on their mean-ness, it's possible for a change.

It's also possible that we as a nation could just get fed up with it.

Beyond that, I think we're all only responsible for our own actions - I hope you're not using "that ship has sailed" as an excuse to leave out the manners yourself.

Posted by: Dan at July 1, 2005 06:17 AM

A couple of thoughts...

1. I was a Captain Kangaroo fan from the very start and I learned the magic words early on: please and thank you. I've found that people do appreciate hearing it (myself included). Especially in the South.

2. Have you ever noticed how polite the interviewers are on NPR? Every interview ends with the reporter thanking the subject (who responds with "your welcome.")

3. I read a book recently about the election of 1800 -- Jefferson vs. Adams. Probably the most bruising election in our history. Jefferson himself called it the Revolution of 1800. Some things never change.

4. I believe that you reap what you sow. But I don't necessarily buy the whole karma thing. Except for those cases where my karma runs over your dogma.

5. I'm just saying.

6. I definitely believe in the Golden Rule.

7. Thank you.

Posted by: Ara at July 1, 2005 07:01 AM

Wait a second! There's a GOLDEN rule?

I've been living by the copper rule this whole time. You know, take a penny, leave a penny.

Posted by: Dan at July 1, 2005 07:14 AM

Lessons learned from the 2004 election? Manners? How long were you out again?
The military has it right with sir, yes, sir. I'm in favor of all households and schools requiring kids to say yes sir, yes ma'am, and no sir and no ma'am.
After a sixth month period, if you go to a fast food place and they don't respond that way, you cut off one eighth of their tongue. I think people will be much more polite when they see someone scraming with his tongue bleeding. We can try it out in the seminaries across the land as a pilot program.

Posted by: Jim at July 1, 2005 04:45 PM

Jim, you can't try it at seminaries because of the equality issue: Pentacostal seminaries would get more of a break because they have more tongues.

Posted by: Dan at July 1, 2005 09:56 PM

Sadly it is a very true development. We seem to have moved a forward by miles.

Posted by: john [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 17, 2005 01:36 AM

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