“One good turn deserves another” and “courtesy begets courtesy” are well known and very old sayings. They mean that good manners and behaviour generate good and welcome response while bad behaviour and manners create a vicious circle. Things boomerang and return to us; it is a universal law. We have to reap what we have sown, and there is no escape. Man is known by his manners. They proclaim him as no other thing would. Courtesy costs nothing and generates a lot of goodwill, congenial atmosphere, friendliness, fellow-feeling and politeness. Politeness turns away wrath and anger while rude and impolite behaviour causes a lot of harm by generating hatred, hostility, bitterness and unfriendliness.
As good wine needs no bush, so a well-mannered person is recognized immediately. He is liked and welcomed by all. He is courteous, polite, civilized, affable, helpful, cooperative and accommodating. His Samaritan habits and pleasing behaviour make him both favourite and popular. He is ever grateful for any service or help received and always eager to return it manifold. He duly recognizes the service or help rendered and sincerely says “thank you”’ as often as he can as one would the small coins in financial transactions to make the business smooth, convenient and pleasing. But his expression of these little but wonderful words is never mechanical. They well up from his heart and reflect their sentiments, ideas and concepts. A well-mannered person would never hurt the feelings of other men and women. He is a gentleman both in thought and practice.
How can we learn Good Manners…?
Good manners are external expressions of inner goodness and education. Good manners can be acquired, learned and cultivated. Among many other things, good manners form the very foundation of our culture and civilization. They distinguish us from animals and give life a new meaning and dimension. Without good manners, polite behaviour, social etiquettes and courtesies life would lose most of its charm and zest.
Good manners may be inherited as well. In good, educated and well-mannered families child imbibe good behaviour, politeness and courtesy unconsciously. When a child sees his parents, elderly members of the family behaving in a dignified but refined and polished way, he learns them automatically without much efforts. He practices them daily and sees them being practised in the family. Refinement, courtesy, politeness etc are the essence of civilized society. They reflect the advancement of culture, education and social inter course.
Good manners prevail in proportion to the heights of civilization attained in a given society. Good manners and civilization are closely linked and inseparable. They are painstakingly taught and laboriously cultivated in all good schools and families. It is said that in olden days, the princes, princesses were sent even to courtesans to learn good manners as the former were a model of etiquettes and polite behaviour. And there is hardly any exaggeration in it. Good things should be learned from any person. Jewels are jewels whether they are in possession of a high caste Brahmin or a low caste Shudra.
How can We learn Good Manners
Communities and societies behave well or badly according to their level of cultural heights. Well evolved societies show much regard and respect to their elders, womenfolk, and children.
- Good manners demand that women and senior citizens are given precedence when they enter a train, bus, or room.
- They urge us to stand up in presence of elders and senior citizens, to give them berths and seats in buses and trains.
- They demand us to speak softly and politely, cover our faces while sneezing and never belch and yawn boorishly in society.
Indian traditions of hospitality and social behaviour have their roots in good manners and behaviours. They direct us to regard guests as gods and offer them the best. Indian traditions say that even a bitter truth should be expressed sweetly and politely. Indian culture never allows us to be impolite and impudent towards others. It teaches us to behave towards others in the same fashions as we wish them to behave towards us.
The basic principles of good manners and etiquettes should always be followed and adhered to because they make life so pleasant, smooth, easy man makes manners and manners make man. They reflect each other and go together. A person without manners is a mere beast without a tail or a pair of horns. They cost nothing and in return bring so many benefits. Good manners art both a technique and art. The can be learnt, imitated and cultivated provided one has a will. Much can be forgiven and forgotten in context of a well-mannered person for he is courteous and says sorry when something is done wrong by him unconsciously. Your sense of regret and sorrow mitigates the suffering the insult to a large extent in the man you have wronged.
Good manners and mannerism are totally two different things. We should not confuse them. Mannerism is slavish imitation of behaviour that makes a person look laughable, unnatural and even comic. It should always be avoided. Sometimes people develop mannerism and speak, move and behave in a very typical and whimsical way. Mannerism is soon exposed and the person from whom this originates is disliked.