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Columns

On manners… do you have them???

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By EMN Updated: Apr 05, 2014 12:30 am
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[dropcap]I [/dropcap]got the opportunity to read two great articles in the last few days on civic sense and social responsibilities published in the local papers: Patriotism and Civic Sense by Kuolachalie Seyie, IG Stadium, and the other one by Kethoser (Aniu) Kevichusa which appeared in Morung Express.
Not only were they (articles) interesting but it served as a reminder to me in many ways. For one thing, I have been thinking of taking my children and cleaning the neighborhood park, and on reading those articles, I felt that I absolutely must do it, and on Sunday afternoon, I gathered my children and a couple of my nieces, and finally managed to clean the park. And we hope to do it on a regular basis. I chose to mention this act at the risk of being called a ‘braggart’ because I think that this may perhaps serve as a reminder to other readers.I am prompted at add something on manners. Many of us, including me, think we have pretty good manners because we eat neatly, we don’t pick our nose in public, extend a hand when introduced to someone new, use words like ‘excuse me’ or ‘I’m sorry’ whenever necessary, or use appropriate terms to address superiors or elders like ‘sir’, ‘madam’, ‘aunty’ or ‘uncle’. But manners are more than just doing things right. Manners are a way of showing our concern for others. Good manners mean we don’t do or say certain things if it’s going to make another person uncomfortable.
As homemakers, we could be more ‘aware’ of our contributions to the garbage, and try to dispose our waste more responsibly or simply cut back on our consumption pattern. I am sure we can all come up with our own ways of reducing our own garbage. For instance, mothers with small kids like me can reduce our dependence on disposable diapers, thus reducing our waste, or disposing the disposable diapers properly, so that the neighbor’s dog doesn’t drag it all across the neighborhood causing an eyesore to other residents.
For grownups, it is much more than teaching our children to say ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ , and reprimanding them when they don’t! I think it’s also about using more of these words ourselves, at home, at the neighborhood grocery store, while using public transport, and particularly to those people who may not be as educated or well off like us, but without whom, our lives would be downright miserable, like our house helps, baby sitters, labourers, drivers, etc. Sometimes grownups tend to think that these ‘magic’ words are only for children.
For students, good manners do not mean simply wishing your teachers or seniors, or perhaps not dirtying the school/college compound, or not texting in class but it also means not showing your boredom so explicitly, like yawning loudly or stretching your body, even when the lecture is still on. It also means responding promptly to questions being asked in the class, and not waiting for your classmate to answer.
As an employee, good manners do not only mean showing our respect to our seniors and subordinates but also respecting other co-worker’s opinions more and about bosses being more patient with subordinates who may not be as quick as you are in grasping new things.
As drivers, good manners does not only mean not blaring our horns and trying to squeeze our cars in an already congested traffic, it also mean stopping our car for a bit to let a pedestrian cross the road, especially the elderly, school children and mothers with small children. It also includes holding off our honking if the driver in front stops for a brief moment to let another car pass. It does not refer only to those escort drivers of the VIPs or VVIPs who blast their horns at other drivers, and shout or show rude gestures if they don’t move out of the way quickly enough.
(Talking about driving, I guess you have also experienced a situation where you are driving, minding your own business, lost in thoughts or maybe listening to music, and suddenly out of the blue, just like that, the whole street becomes so loud and noisy, with several horns honking wildly, and policemen furiously blowing their whistles and waving their arms so ferociously, and its like the whole street erupts into a mad frenzy and the atmosphere gets so charged up, and at the same time chaotic. And the drivers get all confused and nervous, not knowing whether to stop or go, or turn right or left, and cause the policemen to become more agitated than they already are!!! I know I get so confused and nervous, and angry also, especially when it’s just a VVIP convoy passing by. It would have been okay if it’s a fire engine or an ambulance. The whole thing would have been really hilarious if we were watching the scene from a movie. Anyway, we’ll just leave it at that since we’re talking about manners today.)
And for the rest of us, if we come across people with bad manners, let’s try to be more tolerant. After all, ‘the test of good manners is to be patient with the bad ones’.

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By EMN Updated: Apr 05, 2014 12:30:26 am