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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Manners anyone?

Good manners are one of the prime things that we tend to teach our children from the start, but it seldom finds its way into minds of adults.

The Oxford dictionary meaning of the term Manners means “social or polite behaviour.” Whether we still remain social or polite; is another thing to ponder about! Manners have been many a times debated upon (either in books or in person) as to what should be the correct conduct, especially of a lady!

There is a lot of literature about manners and one could literally do a Phd in the “Good Manners” of the particular society! What may seem a good behaviour in one society may be forbidden in the other? But few of our manners are built into our lives and have become such an integral part of our day to day conversation that we don’t even notice them. (Unless we come across someone who grossly misses on them)

One manner that finds place in most of our dialogues is “Sorry” (Though we may say that “No Thank you and Sorry in friendship” but I guess it still has a great deal of importance)   

Recently a friend of mine, created a small blunder in the office. She felt sorry for it immediately to the concerned officer and he rudely brushed it apart. She was not sure that he had forgiven her, so she profusely said sorry to him a couple of times more. And lo behold! He was the warmest person one would ever come across! That is the power of “Sorry” sometimes!

The power of Thank you is amazingly put in Munna Bhai MBBS (I do hope you have seen the movie, it’s a must for all the people who believe that human behaviour can be influenced for good!) The way the “would be” doctor thanks a sweeper shows that manners need not be limited to only your own strata of people, but are universally accepted with good grace. I have seen shopkeepers breaking into a smile when I thank them for their good conduct while selling their goods.

Smile is another powerful expression which has a huge potential to heal any hurts or grudges. One of the most beautiful smiles I have ever come across was from an urchin on streets of Patna. (Now had Leonardo da Vinci been alive, he would have sued me for saying that!)  It was from my way back office, when I noticed a young girl of about 4 looking at me keenly. I smiled at her and her expression was of total surprise which suddenly transformed into a shy smile. Ah so beautiful!

One of the most important manners that I wish everyone would develop is to never waste food. (The habit of finishing every single bit of food on my plate ever since my childhood is what I cherish even today). Wastage of food is the worst kind of behaviour that a poor country like ours can afford (We need not display our riches by wasting food, there are better means of doing it!). In European countries it is considered a criminal offence to waste food as it is a wastage of country resources. Once we inculcate some basic behaviour in our conduct, lives would be more “mannerful”!   



  1. another good manners is appreciating such a good piece of writing.
    ' well done'