Good Manners – Leonard Sullivan

Posted in: Club Newsletter, Featured, Reflections Articles


Rotary Reflections

Leonard Sullivan

Why are good manners, etiquette, and common courtesy disappearing from our society? My mother called these “proper upbringing” and most people with “proper upbringing” exhibited these traits.
I have encouraged my grandsons to stand when an adult enters the room. How often do you see adults and young people continue watching television when a guest arrives at the home? I stand until I’m told to keep my seat or “please sit down”. I stand when anyone enters my office, even fellow employees. Remaining seated is a form of disregard or insult to your guest.
Wearing caps and hats indoors has become common place. Daily you see caps and hats in restaurants, homes and other places. I recently saw a man at a funeral wear his cowboy hat while sitting with the family on the front row in a church. A young man sat down by me at a wedding in a church wearing a baseball cap this week. The campus of Texas A&M is a perfect place to witness proper hat and cap manners. Every head cover comes off as a door is approached at every building on the campus. This is fun to watch the first time you witness it.
Most older men wash their hands before leaving the men’s room; many young men don’t. The signal for meal time at our home was mother saying, “Wash your hands. It’s time to eat”. The first day of the first grade, the teacher took all of the boys to the boy’s restroom and showed us how to wash our hands, and we were told to always wash our hands before leaving the restroom. Can you believe this was taught in school?
Door mats are intended to serve a purpose. You rub and scrape until water, snow, or mud is removed. If you are not sure, you kick off your shoes at the door whether at home or entering some other person’s home. We kicked off our shoes a lot when I was a kid, even at school. I still kick off my shoes when in doubt.
Holding doors open may be a casualty of the Equal Rights Movement, but I still think it is a common courtesy. I hold the door open for the person following me regardless of age, sex, color or position in life. I leave an elevator with the first wave when asked, but otherwise, I hold the door open and exit last. Even if others don’t appreciate this courtesy, you will feel better, and you will have a better day. Try it, you will like it.
We will save, placing our hand over our heart during the playing of our National Anthem, double dipping, sneezing, coughing, blowing our nose, cutting in lines, talking with food in our mouths, returning grocery carts, clearing our table at fast food restaurants, blocking the isle on airplanes, waiting our turn at four way stops, handicap parking, saying thank you and being nice to older people for the next Reflections. If you have suggestions for this list, or a pet peeve, give me a call or post it on the Rotary website.

9 Comments for : Good Manners – Leonard Sullivan
    • Linda Haneborg
    • May 19, 2016

    Well done, Leonard.

    • John Crain
    • May 19, 2016

    Thanks Leonard. Rotarians can certainly set an example.

    • Carl Shortt
    • May 19, 2016

    Great points Leonard. And…..Way too many people sitting behind the wheel of a car must think that they are invisible, invisible and anonymous. Why else would they drive so recklessly and so thoughtlessly? All you have to do to see an example of this is watch the stop signs in our neighborhood where one will see neighbor after neighbor not even slow down at the stop signs.

    • John Frost
    • May 19, 2016

    Cell phone etiquitte, Chang lane signal, instantaneous horn blowing after green light, following too close, passing on the right side, openinpng a car door and extending a hand to your wife or lady passenger, not leaving a tip for good service, cursing.

    • Lisa Hammond
    • May 19, 2016

    Nice reminders for all and having the pleasure of knowing one of Leonard’s grandsons, I am sure he was listening.

    • Carolyn Stager
    • May 23, 2016

    Many Thanks Leonard! Great reminder for all of us—-this should be on display in every classroom!

    • Ron
    • May 23, 2016

    Thanks, Leonard, and I recall your earlier article about proper dress. Hard to believe that people, young and old, think jeans and a T-Shirt with offensive words is just the thing to wear for dining out, attending weddings and funerals, etc.

    What disappoints me most is that people of our generation have bought into the slovenly behavior thing as well as the youngsters. It is just plain disregard for others, disrespectful, and just plain laziness.

    • Gale Hobson
    • May 23, 2016

    Thank you

    • Tom Friedemann
    • May 23, 2016

    Wonderful comments Leonard. What’s happened to basic civility in this country?

Comments are closed.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options