Manners and Etiquette
Oh where oh where have they gone? In less than a generation our society has descended from a people of manners and thoughtfulness to a bunch of self centered me - me slugs that have only one thing on their minds and that would be their desire to be served and catered to. I live in a community of much younger, mostly newly retired, white professional and semi professionals. This generation is the product of my generation and so when I say their children are the subjects, I am generally referring to ages from 18 to 40.
Just where do I start to make my case? Perhaps my own grandchildren would be appropriate. Don’t get me wrong, I love my 4 grandsons with a passion and perhaps therein lays the problem. When I was a boy I had a great deal of freedom to play outside and even spend time away from home for hours on end. We all did in those days. At the tender age of eight I was living in Montreal and would leave home every Sat at about 10:00 AM. The streetcar was at our front door. It was a half hour journey to the Central YMCA downtown. A 3or 4 block walk and I was in heaven for the day. So long as I was home for my dinner and before the street lights came on, my parents seemed OK with me being on my own.
At twelve my paper route would keep me on the street well past the supper hour so many nights I would have my evening meal alone. At seventeen I was a self employed salesman calling door to door as a Fuller Brush salesman and eventually employing an older gentleman to deliver my weekly sales allowing me to spend more time selling. All of this is not to say my parents did not love me, it just points out the difference in our culture from the 1940’s and 50’s and that of the late 90’s and into the new century.
I don’t have to detail the differences in raising children to-day. Are children better cared for than in my time and if so why do we have such a problem keeping then in school and finding them part time jobs and seeing them develop a sense of worth and accomplishment? Our greatest failure as a society is with the youth of our native people. Many northern native communities are being ravaged by suicide deaths in their younger population. What is the answer to this terrible dilemma? Whether we over indulge our kids and treat them as if they were fragile dolls or if we let them run at will and give them little direction, we still have a group of kids with a lack of self worth that causes them to be inclined to turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, depression and even suicide.
What is missing in their lives that we had while growing up?
-Discipline and respect? – At school as well as at home we were taught to be respectful of our elders. Teachers in the schools of to-day are not respected and in many cases it is not hard to understand why- dress, attitude and demeanor has brought many in the teaching profession down to the level of the worst in the class. Respect is lost and discipline has been removed from the classroom so the student is left wondering what direction to go. What are the boundaries? A ruler across the knuckles in the RC schools or the dreaded strap in the public schools seemed harsh but it sure demanded respect and instilled discipline. You were a long time remembering the sting and hoping your parents never found out or you could be in a lot more trouble when you got home. If a teacher even verbally reprimands a student to-day, he or she will probably be in for the parent’s vile.
-Morals and Religion? – When a society lowers its morals to accommodate the lowest and most depraved just to be politically correct, that society is doomed. My country has legalized everything that a generation ago would have been considered unthinkable. Homosexual marriage, abortion, feticide, euthanasia, drugs, and respect and tolerance for a cult that has only one desire, that being the obliteration of Christians and Jews. Christians are slowly being driven underground in this land of ours.
My title was Manners and Etiquette and I guess I have strayed somewhat from my original theme; however, the younger generations have lost more than discipline, respect, morals and religion. Many just expect everything, - and rarely know how or when to say thank you. Every older generation complains about the new generation and how they aren’t as good as we were. I wonder how many more generations will materialize before we will be totally intolerable.
Paul D. Scott.