LORD OF THE MANNERS
THE LETTERS R.E.S.P.E.C.T MEAN MORE TO ME THAN ANY ‘A’ ON A REPORT CARD
When it comes to one of the most important lessons my kids are learning, I won’t find a result on their report card at the end of the year. I will see a comment about it on those reports – and it will be me who is being marked. It’s the comment about how respectful they are to others and, from where I stand, the ability my kids have to show respect to others – even those they don’t agree with – will take them further in life than any A will.
It doesn’t take a genius to see respect and manners have taken a plunge down a stinky drain of self-centred free and ugly speech in our society.
Once upon a time, to make a public comment, you had to take the time to write a letter and send it to someone who was able to vet for standards.
Now, we live in a society of keyboard warriors who fire off commentary as uninformed as it is unintelligent and certainly unkind, with little thought to how the person or people at the other end of the diatribe might actually feel.
The golden rule of online readership is to skip the comments. Just don’t read them lest you end up feeling the world is full of hatefilled, bitter people who don’t seem to have any filters and certainly lack consideration.
This is the world I’m raising my kids in and the world into which I must eventually send them.
Constant exposure to a lack of manners and non-existent boundaries leads to a desensitisation to the type of behaviour we once would have been shocked at.
We risk this kind of disrespect and freefor-all becoming normalised and very quickly it’s a case of monkey see, monkey do and society’s standards slip another notch.
I want my children to not only live by a higher standard, but also to expect it from others. To not allow those who would seek to speak without thought to pass on that negativity and venom. It’s easy to show respect, kindness and manners to someone who you agree with. The standard though is set in how you show it to someone who you don’t.
It’s then that you can show a kindness and try to understand where someone else is coming from, regardless of if you think they deserve it or not. The old adage “if you have nothing kind to say, don’t say anything at all” is as sound advice now as it was years ago.
If only those warriors who spew their caustic comments would follow it and simply click unlike and move along instead.