The test of good manners
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2020 - 12:00am

There is a saying that goes, “The test of good manners is to be patient with the bad ones.”

As a young girl my mother was always a tickler for good manners and right conduct especially during report card day. As a young mother, I realized I inherited the same interest and concern when it comes to GMRC.

Although skills and intelligence matter, I certainly believe that it is not the only criteria for success. While there are so many highly skilled and intelligent people out there, a person who is remembered will always be the one who treated others well. Good manners is the best way we show people the kind of person we are from the inside, and the good that comes forth from it becomes a source of inspiration.

We tend to think that money or fame gives off a more pleasant life when in reality, it is our good character that adds quality to both our personal lives as well as in the lives of others. I am not saying that money doesn’t matter – of course it does,  however, in as much as wealth reveals our true character, it is definitely important to remember that good character defines us.

Our daily routine entails the practice of behavioral rules and ignoring them brings about consequences. Society would be a mess with a “free for all“ kind of mentality which is why simple rules such as table manners are an indication of the respect we give to others. Saying “thank you” or “please” is a sign of selflessness and certainly makes a good impression.

The teaching of good manners and right conduct can be redundant however, redundant as it may be, the practice of it is crucial in all aspects of our lives.

As a customer service manager back in the day, good manners and proper conduct helped me not only retain clients but also increased sales.

Friendships on the other hand, including our personal relationships, allow us to enjoy more activities together and experience quality time. In the end, it is very simple. The application of good manners and right conduct is just about paying things forward. When you treat others right, people will in turn want to be nice back – well, at the very least , most of the time.

The test of good manners is in the practice. Our schools and families should never be tired of repeatedly teaching this especially to our youth because its benefits go far beyond the material gains and the foundation of every basic unit becomes stronger.

We belong to a society of men and as Jane Austen says, “Respect for right conduct is felt by everybody.” The best proof of our character therefore is in our conduct. Let us never grow tired of teaching, learning,  and even re-learning this if we must.

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