Treat people with kindness

How has the value of manners changed

Noah Cannon, Staff Writer

Here’s how my day went: I woke up, bungee-jumped from the planet Mars, hosted a unicorn tea party, buried myself alive, dug myself out when I found out SpongeBob was on, and then went online to find out what my fellow human beings were discussing. 

Of course, I’m just playing around, but all jokes aside, I like seeing what’s going on in the world because I’m interested in how people handle and react to certain situations. Unfortunately, if you’ve happened to live on this planet for a reasonable amount of time, you might have noticed that it isn’t always pleasant or positive. The words kindness and respect are tossed around considerably in the giant salad bowl that is in the 21st century, one key ingredient that is missing tremendously from the said bowl is “manners.”

For a society that preaches love, respect and equality, there seems to be a significant lack of it when someone has a different belief or opinion than the other person. 

A vegan on Twitter or Instagram might be preaching “We need to love everyone!” and “All men are created equally.” However, if a hunter posts a picture of themself eating at a steakhouse, the same person who’s all for love and equality will say “This person is a disgrace! #banhunters! #meatiswrong!” If said person was an active supporter of the Democratic Party, and they see a Republican Candidate throwing a Bake Sale, they might say, “Don’t support this person! They believe in… yada yada.” 

Even at the grocery store, I see similar behavior. When the bagger greets the customer with a smile, the customer just stares at their phone with a moody look on their face. “Would you want paper or plast—?” the bagger asks heartily before the customer, without even looking at them, immediately says “PLASTIC” in a sharp and quick reply, almost as if they’re annoyed for the person even existing. 

I don’t mean to put people down. I’m merely commenting on scenarios that I have seen, and it breaks my heart. Whatever happened to the childhood lessons of the past, where parents constantly expressed the importance of being on your best behavior with everyone, including the people who got under your skin? Media influencers are constantly eating bowls of love and equality, and those things are great, wonderful even. 

But, manners are equally important

You might have heard the phrase “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin.” In other words, you can still be kind and respectful towards people without approving their actions or agreeing with their beliefs or ideas. The key phrase that stands the test of time is to treat others how you would want to be treated. 

If today’s message is to love everyone and promote equality, then let’s stick with that and love everybody, with no exceptions. Perhaps a little bit of kindness or setting a good example is all that it takes to influence someone’s heart. Manner, love and respect go together like steak, potatoes and broccoli, and they are as valuable as food, water and sunlight. Manners matter.