The Lost Art of Etiquette and Social Graces : Did You Know?
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The Lost Art of Etiquette and Social Graces

by Angela Jordan on 11/17/12

Etiquette-- is it the missing ingredient in today's society? Is it the answer for bringing civility back into our homes, schools, churches, workplaces and communities?

As a former classroom teacher I have watched the climate of civility decrease among many of the children in our schools and communities. Simple expressions of politeness seem to have faded away. "Yes" and "no" have become "yeah" and "nope"; "thank you's", "you're welcome" are unexpressed; "please" has become "I' mma need you to..."; "eye contact" has been replaced by"eye rolling"; "excuse me" has become "move"; the "hand shake" is now a "fist bump or pounds"; "hello" has become "what's up"; and pants that used to ride around the waist are now riding below the waist. What is wrong with this generation?

Many children are being influenced by media expressed negativity. Television, the internet, and music are taking over the mindsets of many children. The media and new technologies have become babysitters for children whose parents are consumed with activities and work schedules that rob them of time that should be used providing guidance and love.

During my childhood, dinner time was "family time", a time for sharing and discussions about daily activities and concerns, and a time for giving accolades to encourage self-esteem. It was also a time for learning lessons of etiquette. I lived in a home with three sisters and two brothers. I can recall how my parents expected the six of us to utilize good manners in every aspect of our lives. It was never an option; it was a given. They taught and modeled for us the basic rules of etiquette. Oh yes, manners start at home. My parents, Sidney and Lillian, taught etiquette with discipline and respect and they partnered their teaching with the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Are we instilling in our children the aspects of honor and dignity? Are we teaching them to respect not only themselves, but others as well? A major mission for today's parents should be to equip our children with the necessary skills that instill poise, confidence, respect, and responsibility. The goal is to help them become productive citizens who are capable of becoming refined leaders for tomorrow.

Using proper etiquette has the power to open many doors of opportunity. Let's put civility back in its proper place and enhance our children's future.

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world" -- Ghandi

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