10 Sep Having Good Manners – we need more of it
The Caribbean prides itself on being well-mannered based on the intricate learnings from our British ancestry. We are so certain we have “broughtupcy” or good manners. We assert that we are a mannerly, friendly, happy go lucky bunch, ignoring the waves of passive aggressive and sometimes downright aggressive behaviour we encounter or perpetuate on a daily basis.
We cover our eyes in a thin veil of comfort, refusing to truly look at ourselves as a people. We need to stop masking unkindness as manners. We need to stop sitting on our high horses accusing others of bad manners, while refusing to answer someone when they say Good Morning, snobbing them as they attempt to befriend us, hiding behind the pretext of “They have no manners”. If we examine ourselves honestly we would acknowledge we are just being unkind. We need to treat each other better as a people and create endless days of love and genuine friendship.
So, all of this bring me to…
Analise’s List of Good Manners
- Look at people when you speak to them.
- Stop commenting on people’s weight. It really isn’t any of your business.
- Stop asking women when they are going to get married and have children. FYI – I know I have no children. I know I am not married. Move on.
- Not listening to people to understand what they are saying. Instead, we are busy thinking of our next point.
- Randomly butting into other’s people’s conversations.
- Not responding to “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” then getting upset when I no longer decide to say it anymore. My “Good morning” or “Good Afternoon” is mine, I reserve the right to keep it.
- Take personal phone calls away from workspace. I don’t care to hear about your private life when I am concentrating on my work.
- Skipping lines. Though I would love to think that as humans we are evolving – I have not yet developed the ability to be invisible. If I do, skip away.
- Driving on the shoulder to bypass everyone in traffic. Surprise, surprise – I would like to reach home, the part, my boyfriend, my girlfriend, my husband, my wife just as badly as you.
- Speeding through the light one second after it has turned red – you still broke the light. Even if it’s one second after.
- Don’t touch pregnant women’s bellies. It’s actually still their belly. Not because it is bigger it should be interpreted as belonging to the world.
- Check in with your sick friend and offer some help. Offer to drop some medication or some orange juice.
- Check in with your friends who live alone. Yes, you are busy, and yes they are busy too. But it always helps to know someone cares especially when you come home to an empty house and a not-so-safe society.
- Take a gift for your friend to say thank you for being wonderful.
- “Please” and “Thank you” need a hashtag revival for it to become important again.
- Don’t lend out a book unless someone asks for it.
- Offer your plumber or electrician a glass of water.
- Save appointments in your calendar. At work and personal. It just shows respect for everyone’s time.Oh and check your calendar before making plans and when you make plans – keep them. If you are not interested be honest. It’s okay to say no.
- Respect people’s personal space. It’s my desk – for now. Yes I know it’s company property. Act like it.
- Men, do not approach ladies directly behind them. Always approach them from the front or a side angle. In a world where we have to be constantly looking over our shoulders, be considerate of women’s fear of safety in this world. Especially if a woman has been unlucky enough to be (almost) assaulted – we may not talk about it but we may have some residual fear. Coming from behind can feel threatening.
- Appreciate people for good service. A kind word can go a long way. Persons who work in the Service Industries have it pretty tough. Reinforce good customer service by showing appreciation for it. Tips should also reflect this as well.
Tell me below, what ‘good manners’ do you think we need to bring back to the Caribbean?