Good Manners refers to the polite and good social behaviour. Good Manners plays a significant role in building human relationships. It lays the foundation of a stable social pattern. It implies certain values of human relationship that kept the society alive and kicking.
It is true that human life today has become speedy and hectic. Life has become too much diversified and fast. There are national and international societies that can meet within the shortest possible time, because time and space have been conquered. Naturally it is commonly thought that good manners that bound the social relations have now fallen out of use. I, however, disagree with the view.
Good manners are still needed, because manners imply stable values. They do not depend on social structures; rather all kinds of social structures depend on them.
The values like respect, loyalty, gratitude or obligation are fundamental in their character and quality. Our social and family ethics of behaviour have been determined by our respect for such values. A highly educated son bows in respect to his parents and seniors, because that is part of his social and family ethics.
Even big international dealings are based on good manners. Nations that flout good manners in such dealings are exposed. Good manners do not cost us much. It is the mark of nation’s character. If a nation cites the Bible and the Geeta, but behaves like a fraud, it becomes a target of attack for the world at large.
Good manners are an index of the degree of refinement, whether it is in individual, in a society or in a nation. The mode of observing such manners do change. The ways of being hospitable today are not the same as in our ancient days. But to be hospitable is yet a yardstick of one’s culture and character. To tell lies, to behave like a turncoat, to take undue advantage of one’s goodness have been bad and are bad even today. These are the parts or constituents of good manners. One cannot enumerate them. The norms of human behaviour change in our fast changing social life, but the status of ‘good manners’ remains constant. Good manners are closely linked to moral values. Shakespeare’s line, “The baby beats the nurse and athwart goes all decorum” is a self aeons of human existence.
I believe that good manners are very important for success in life. Man today is indeed hard pressed for time. But, it is not something that stands in his way. On the contrary it ensures a much more sound interaction, a finer ground for him to develop and consolidate. It is the very lifeblood of a healthy human relationship.