So, here I am Friday evening running late but wanting to get a quick word in about manners. First of all let's face it--the darn things are labile and entirely dependent. Dependent on Culture, the times, and individual upbringing. As a child I may have been taught that to belch or pass wind around other people is a monumental faux pas; while it may be perfectly fine to a person raised in a different family or Culture not hung up on bodily noises. You get the idea. Since manners fluctuate with the times what is considered good or bad manners must as well.
According to Widipedia, manners are "the unenforced standard of conduct which show the actor to be cultured, refined. They are a set of standards for human behavior." These codified rules are subject to human interpretation. One may adhere to a particular manner like a recipe tha must be followed to the teaspoon. Another may take that same particular manner and eyeball it skimming over the details.
There is also the dilema of those people that have impeccable manners (devising the manner rubric by the individual Cultural expectations) yet these same upstanding individuals are evil, cruel, spiteful. Perhaps Hitler, Stalin or other similar monsters had "manners" who the hell cares. The point being that agin manners are maliable and are not reliable indicators of a person's being--nd should be categorized as to their importance to the human race.
Because I am desperately short on time, I'll get straight to the point--there are universal manners that as human beings we all need to honor. Respecting other's spiritual beliefs, honoring the elders of the community, being empathetic to children in need, not being a "I'll do anything to get what I want" sort of person. Those situations arise in all societies and those types of people that don't give a hoot about universal manners--need to be quarentined. A co-worker of mine likes to quote Ghandi daily, has a meditation and yoga practice, chants, and where's flowers in her hair, and has immaculate manners. But-she wouldn't stop to help a person if they fell on her feet. Enough said--
Causes Karen Devaney Supports
Eve Ensler and any organization that deals with issues supporting women and children and the advancement of their education.