What happened to our manners?

Published 11:15 am Monday, January 2, 2017

There was a time in America when good manners and proper behavior was simply expected. Sadly this is no longer true.

Recently a family of five, including three young children ranging from the age of eight months to five years, boarded a flight to begin their Christmas vacation.  In today’s society of disobedient and spoiled brats no one will be surprised to learn that a disturbance followed.

However, contrary to what most people would expect it was not the children who caused the commotion.  Nor was it their father and mother who although the children’s mother was the focus of the rude and disturbing behavior responded only by attempting to distract and comfort their small  children with toys. This public temper tantrum was not the act of a misbehaving child, but that of two rude and immature adults.

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One of these male passengers attempted to provoke the family who according to all reports had done nothing other than board the flight and take their seats.  While the other one gleefully tweeted to the world that his husband was “chasing Ivanka Trump down to harass her.”  As practically everyone in America now knows these two homosexual males, who should have been the very personification of tolerance, clearly viewed the intentional disturbance and harassment of a family with small children to be perfectly acceptable behavior.

These two individuals were upset by the fact that they would be passengers on the same airplane as people whose presence they found offensive.  Such attitudes have no place in twenty-first century America and most citizens are pleased that being able to say you do not want someone you find unacceptable as a fellow passenger ended with Rosa Parks. Still, these two deplorable people felt that they should be allowed to publicly accost a husband and wife in the presence of their small children.

Despite the fact that this incident involved the daughter of Donald Trump, our citizens should ask how our society reached this point.  When I was a child whichever of my parents was closest would have immediately put a stop to any such obnoxious doings by me. I would have been swiftly punished and have been required to quickly and sincerely apologize to the persons I had verbally abused. Unfortunately, in today’s America the politically correct believe that common courtesy should be reserved only for those they deem worthy of it.    

The champions of political correctness and sensitivity often are at the same time personally rude to almost everyone around them. Compare the actions of such people to those of Ronald Reagan who before leaving office actually took the time to personally shake hands with and thank every member of the White House staff for their service during his term. The contrast with 2016 when one of our two major candidates for president was repeatedly reported to be rude and disrespectful to almost everyone around her is disheartening.

Americans should ask how we went from a society in which please and thank you were not the exception, but the rule to a society in which rudeness is viewed as proper political discourse?  When did it become too much of a bother to speak politely to the sales clerk or waitress?  How can we be too busy to write a simple thank you note to the person who showed us kindness or troubled themselves to help us?  Would America not be a better and greater nation if we returned to saying please and thank you to those around us?

It has been noted by someone far wiser than me that “Politeness costs nothing, but pays big dividends.”  America would be a better place if parents taught their children to say “no sir” and “yes ma’am”.  What is the justification for not teaching children to say “thank you” or to hold a door open for the next person?  The greatest and simplest duty of each of us is to merely “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”

The best way to teach proper manners and behavior is by example and just as Jesus Christ did, parents should set the example for their children by practicing good manners all of the time. Likewise, all citizens should practice the “Golden Rule” every day. If we each did so we might just find ourselves living in a better country that really has become great again.

ray garrett is a columnist and local blogger who can be reached at flyovercountrycitizen@gmail.com.