Time appears to be a premium these days. Yet, there is still 168 hours in a week. It takes a couple of seconds to be polite but it appears that is a tax on our time we cannot afford to pay. The loss of manners might be summed up with two categories. I will briefly address both.
First, we are to preoccupied to be present for our conversations and interactions. We have time limits for everything we do. Globally people spend on average 136 minutes on social media per day. If you account for 8 hours of sleep, that leaves 16 hours for your day. When we look at 136 minutes in a 16 hour period, 14 percent of your day is on social media. The total time spent on your phone goes up from there. We walk in front of people without excusing ourselves, we interrupt conversations oblivious of anyone else in the room. Our conversations have been groomed to be discourteous. When you walk up to order at a restaurant do you say “give me” or the better alternative, “can I please have?” Do you hold the door open for people? If the door is held open for you, is your reply “thank you?” The loss of manners happens over time but is taught to the next generation at an early age. Do we have 10 seconds of that 136 minutes we spend on social media to be cordial?
Last but not least, “Do we have a grateful heart?” About 6 months back I read “The Book of Joy, Lasting happiness in a changing world.” The book was an interview done over the period of a week with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. It is a great read for anyone that has the time. One of the quotes from the book by the Dalai Lama said “It is not happiness that makes us grateful, it is gratefulness that makes us happy.” Are you a grateful person? If you are not, I doubt that manners are high on your priority list. Try this today: Take 1 minute to list things that warrant your gratitude, and then acknowledge them. After you have spent that 1 minute being grateful, show gratitude to one person you come in contact with in your day. Good manners stand out in today’s society because they are becoming a rare commodity. Will you help break the trend of ingratitude?
The Bible says “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” We must find a way to live a life of gratitude. It will permeate into everything we do. Thank you, excuse me, let me get that for you, should be standard in our everyday conversations. We make time for things that are a priority to us. Good manners, do you have the time?