“Kindness is always fashionable.” -Amelia E Barr
The practice of good etiquette is every bit as important as the practice of good hygiene. Contrary to popular notions, etiquette is not antiquated, elitist or snobby. Etiquette is simply a code of behavior that teaches us to use kindness and compassion toward others. I am of the opinion that treating people with warmth and generosity is what good manners are all about. Etiquette stems predominantly from such thoughtfulness. All that good manners require is tact and a regard for other people. In large part, I believe that etiquette is merely an extension of how we view ourselves. Good manners simply implies that we have the ability to put others interests before our own.
Some days, I feel as though technology and social media have turned us into beastly creatures. Maybe it was the advent of reality television? Whatever the root cause, society today can be downright crude. The ethos of American culture today is that everyone should simply do what makes them most comfortable. Unfortunately, what makes us comfortable is not always a pretty picture. I would be perfectly comfortable wearing my gym clothes to your child’s cello recital, or skipping the event altogether to instead sit on the couch watching Modern Family reruns and eating cake batter straight from the bowl. If left to your own demise, you would probably be most comfortable cutting the line at Starbucks and ordering a perfectly concocted caffeinated beverage while continuing to chat on the phone with your Nordstrom professional shopper. A couple of charmers, we are. We owe more to the world, we can do better, and thus, good manners come into play.
It is not all that uncommon to witness individuals talking or texting on their cell phone during a social engagement; talking in groups about parties that mutual friends threw but that not everyone was included; or neglecting to make social introductions. Manners exemplify consideration for others and sensitivity to your fellow friend or foe. In a world where we spend more than half of our waking hours multi-tasking, it is no wonder that we often feel frustrated, irritated and distracted. Constant over-stimulation often causes us to neglect the most basic courtesies and affections for one another. As millennial mothers, a lot is expected of us. We wear a lot of hats—but one of the most important hats we will ever wear as mothers, is that of role model.