This I Believe

Latricia - Raleigh, North Carolina
Entered on May 1, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: respect

Mind Your Manners, Please!

One of my pet peeves is people who are “manner-less”. I haven’t always felt this way, but lately etiquette situations have bugged me. I don’t want to appear like I have always had manners galore, because nothing bugged me more than hearing my mom say to me every morning at the breakfast table, before going off to elementary school, “stop playing at the table and eat your food,” “chew your food with your mouth closed.” I wondered at the time what all the fuss was about and what was the big deal with chewing with your mouth closed. My mom would oftentimes say to me, “Act like you have some manners.” But still, I could not figure out why displaying manners was so important. Eventually, manners came into play when I went out in the work force. I encountered people who entered the door clearly marked “exit” and then looked at me as if I was the bellboy; people who walked in front of me without saying “excuse me” and people who didn’t allow me to catch the door so that I may walk in behind them.

The display of manners showed up again when I went to eat at my favorite four-star restaurant. Everything appeared to be in order. The waitress smiled elegantly and took my order politely; the atmosphere was warm and quaint. Everything was great! Upon the waitress’ arrival with my food, I proceeded to eat and enjoy my meal until I noticed a gentleman across the room stuffing his food in his mouth, as if it was going to be his “last supper”. This rude eating displayed the “manner-less” attitude which bugged me. How rude and absurd! Was I suppose to be able to enjoy my meal at the same time of observing this display of rudeness. It was at this time I understood what manners represented–The acknowledgement and respect for others. It is through this high reverence of respect for others that I believe the display of manners is important.