Improving manners improves society

Published 10:55 am Monday, April 30, 2018

Times have really changed in this country.

There was a much more pleasant time years ago, when people showed respect for one another. They said “thank you” and “yes sir,” ”no sir,” ”yes ma’am” or “no ma’am.” Young people would show respect to their elders and to their parents. Young men used to open car doors or front doors for their female dates. Young men used to stand when a woman entered the room or excused herself to the bathroom. They would also always wait for a woman to sit before they sat themselves. Kids were always taught to sit up straight at the dinner table, to not slouch and to keep their elbows off the table.

We don’t see as much of this common courtesy anymore, which is unfortunate.

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Kids also used to mostly look up to and respect their teachers. We’re sure many of them still do, but there are too many who use foul language toward their teachers. Sometimes, teachers are reluctant to act because of disciplinary restrictions placed on them and fear of lawsuits.

Good manners, including respect and courtesy toward others, need to return to our society. It truly does make us better people when we show proper respect and etiquette to others.

Officials at Bowling Green’s historic Riverview at Hobson Grove are doing their part in trying to restore this way of life. On Saturday, members of Girl Scout Troop 313 were sitting up straight and keeping their elbows off the table as they enjoyed a tea party as part of an etiquette class.

The Girl Scout troop teamed up with Riverview volunteer and tea etiquette instructor Georgeanna McKenzie, who joined volunteer Nancy Baird to help the Girl Scouts learn proper etiquette for the afternoon tea. The event was appropriately held at a venue built in the 19th century, when afternoon tea was more the norm. The event was geared toward helping the Edmonson County troop prepare for its inaugural Girl Scout Afternoon Tea Party, scheduled for May 5 at the Chalybeate Fire Department community building. The girls politely dined on finger sandwiches, fruit and desserts while McKenzie and Baird served them tea in fine china.

The lessons taught by McKenzie and Baird seemed to resonate with the nine girls, who ranged from grades one through eight. It also seemed to resonate with their leaders.

“We decided as a troop that manners are still very important,” said Melissa Johnson, one of the adult leaders of Troop 313. “It’s important in our society, and if we want to have a tea party we want to use proper etiquette.”

We couldn’t agree more with Johnson. Young women need to know proper etiquette in this day and age as much as ever. We firmly believe that classes like this do just that. They help turn these young girls into young ladies and teach them how to act ladylike in certain settings.

The Daily News of Bowling Green