Thursday, September 13, 2012

Requiem for Manners

Can civilization be saved?
Today the idea that the cultivation of manners should be an essential part of one’s education has been nearly lost entirely. It seems to have followed in death its greatest modern advocate, Emily Post. “Manner is personality,” Post wrote, “the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life.”  Proof of the demise of manners is all around us: the open use of foul language on the public street, not simply by unkempt, uneducated youths but by middle-age, well-groomed businessmen; the in-your-ear blaring of something incorrectly deemed to be music by its devotees out car windows;  the making of turns or changing of lanes by drivers without the courtesy of a turn signal; the routine violation of one’s personal space by passersby without the least expression of apology; and most obvious and appalling, the horrific decline in standards of dress everywhere. Indeed, T-shirts, jeans and sneakers have become standard attire for adults on “casual Friday” in the business world and, even more distressingly, at Sunday Mass. People venture out of their houses into public wearing their pajamas as they perform Saturday-morning errands. Today it is the lowest class of society that sets the standards of attire for everyone else; young people have adopted an exaggerated version of prison uniforms as their everyday attire, particularly excessively baggy pants, often worn so low that underpants and even one’s derriere is exposed for all to see. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

I agree completely. Not only have we abandoned cultivating manners, but we work on cultivating BAD manners. To many people rudeness is power.