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hKWvJOptDK_1388801380797 respect teaching"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood but of respect, and joy in each other's life." Richard Bach

"Education is an admirable thing but, it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." Oscar Wilde

Manners is more than please and thank you although it is nice to be at the receiving end of a thank you. In order to have real manners one needs to extend empathy, compassion and awareness of others. If one cares about another and feels for their situation then one jumps in to lighten their load. For instance, if you see a pregnant woman on the bus who doesn't have a seat, then you might give up yours. Someone with a tremendous amount of bundles might inspire you to hold open a door. Manners almost becomes innate if a person has been taught to have a regard for other people.

When we respect others we respect their presence and their time. We would never insult them by texting while we are engaged in a conversation with them. Likewise we would never be on a phone while they are trying to wait on us in a store. If a person was kind enough to help us pick up items we dropped on a street, we would be very thankful and our words would display this thanks.

Having manners is not something one can truly teach unless one teaches a person or child consideration, attentiveness, and  responsiveness which happens when we show an awareness of being a part of a whole. The world is more than us. The world does not revolve around just us. As much as parents want to praise their children and rightly so, build up their confidence, absolutely, they still must add understanding sympathy and concern for others.

We may think our children are the greatest, smartest, the best athletes, prettiest, handsomest and any other attributes we might add. That is okay but remember that every parent is thinking the same thing. You are not alone. Do any of us say to another, "Your child is so much smarter than mine." If I have made my point then carry this one step further and teach your child to be the most caring, thoughtful, empathetic, trustworthy, gracious and responsible child that they can be.

What a world transformation if this happened. We would do away with jealousy because we would be thinking about another's needs instead of our own. We would end envy because it would not be important to us in the scheme of things. We would do away with competition and play for the sport of it because we would not want to hurt another. A new world of true humanity would be created.

In the new  world we would love all people and tolerate enemies but perhaps we would have no rivals.By striving for acceptance of all who would be left to hate? If you want to teach manners, teach compassion, love, understanding, honesty, responsibility and kindness towards others. My top three are compassion empathy and awareness. When we get to that goal we will discover what  real manners means.

"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity." Nancy Astor

"Where there is a human being there is an opportunity for kindness." Seneca

find serenity in the moral struggle "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein

 We all have varying degrees of flexibility. As children, most of us exhibit lots of flexibility. As soon as a friend calls we are out the door. Growth and maturity appears to dampen our willingness to bend or stretch in different ways. If we think about this situation, we realize the sadness of our plight. We may be free in body but our minds and thinking become more and more enslaved until we perform our duties ritualistically.

We must call our parents, water the plants, clean the house, get a recipe for dinner that will impress our friends, find the right clothes for the right look etc. In all of this commotion have we thought over what we are doing and if we are truly living or simply surviving? Reflect on how much love is given to us unconditionally by our parents. Ponder the living plants and the awesome beauty they bestow on us. House cleaning is overrated as much as connecting with people is underrated. Fabulous meals have more to do with the companionship we have with those who share the meal with us.

Duty and ego have replaced love and affection. When we visit others we look back and recall the great conversations and spirited mood we enjoyed with them. We don’t even think about the manicured yard or neatly picked up house. Maybe it is time to reflect on our inner human focus rather than the outer peripheral nonsense. We would most likely save ourselves time and money.

We all love artistic beauty but not at the expense of the beauty we find in each other. Less time spent on silly jobs leaves us with more energy to give to the important things in life. Our priorities perhaps are messed up at the moment. As children we knew what counted. As adults we get lost. If we keep cluttering our minds with jobs that are really meaningless, we will miss doing what counts.

It is more important to spend time talking to your child than it is to mow your lawn. I watched two dads in two situations dealing with their children while they were working in the yard. Both children were two years old at the time. One dad screamed at his toddler for digging in an area where he had recently planted some gorgeous flowers. The child went screaming and crying alone, into a corner of the yard. I wondered to myself, what had he just taught his child.

Another father in an adjacent lot had finished planting a row of various colored flowers. He stopped to take a long drink of water when his young son was standing in front of him with a fistful of flowers. They were a beautiful bouquet. His young son said as he shoved the flowers into his father’s hands, “I love you da”. I watched for the dad’s reaction. He was surprised when he realized they were the newly purchased and just planted flowers. The dad immediately scooped his son into his arms and hugged him tightly as he said “I love you too and thanks for the flowers.” Somehow I believe those flowers meant so much more in the dad’s mind and heart than they could ever mean to any observer who chanced to walk by them growing in the ground.

Children are a gift from God. Love them and tell them so every day. Recognize your obligation to them by respecting and nurturing them. If you are rough in your speech, or actions towards them especially regarding discipline, rethink and alter your behaviors and habits. Children can teach us to be spontaneous and how to recapture our love of living. They remind us to be flexible because when we are flexible our disappointment and anger decreases while our love and awareness increases.

"Blessed are the hearts that can bend. They shall never be broken." Albert Camus

technology destroys humanity"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught." Oscar Wilde

At one time children were taught to use various modes of speech in any given circumstance. When in the presence of parents, they might use one form while at school another form. When outside with friends, children could break down the barriers and say just about whatever they wanted. The formal speech was used for those in authority, while the respectful courtesy speech might be used with strangers. Today we have no filters used for anyone at any place or situation we find ourselves in. The result is an insensitivity regarding our fellow human beings. It has also resulted in fostering anger, frustration aggression and hurt feelings which diminish self-esteem. Quick replies via technology of all sorts are the current mode of speech. How technology is destroying humanity should be contemplated. It is time for us to control technology rather than technology controlling us.

We leave our house feeling happy. We get into our car and drive to the highway and are met with eradicate drivers who immediately proceed to cut us off and honk their horns in the process. Some are on the phone and others regardless of rules are texting. Our smile decreases slightly. When we arrive at our place of employment, we spot a parking place but we are aware of another driver speeding towards the same parking space. We slow down and turn our car into the further space and think to ourselves the walk will do us some good. We are still happy but tense and alert. As we step out of our car to walk the distance to the entrance, a loud blast from a horn startles us to the core and we feel our heart racing. Our head turns in time to see the angry face of the driver who is sporting ear plugs. The driver shouts out the angry words, “That’s how stupid people get killed.”

We are not happy anymore. The tension and aggressive mode seeps through our body. We have a meeting in fifteen minutes and we are not looking forward to it. We enter our workplace and are met with the secretary’s quick mechanical good morning as she busily taps on the computer. Our first thought is to ignore her hello. We begin to retort a reply when we observe her texting. We continue on our way and feel our whole body tightening. Gathering our materials we realize we are late for the meeting. Upon entering the room, a co-worker slaps down some material in front of us and simply says in a commanding voice, “page eleven.” Now we slouch into our chair a bit lower.

The boss looks over at us and comments, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with you.” We think to ourselves how old am. He shouldn’t talk to me like that. We can’t help the warm feeling spreading across our face. At lunch our co-workers laugh as they discuss a fellow worker in a derogatory manner. We smile to get along but secretly think that could be us they are talking about. We leave the lunch room and a companion demands we hold the door because their hands are full. We feel embarrassed we didn’t notice but we wish they had just asked rather than demanded. Creeping back to our workplace we check the time and frown because little time has passed. It is going to be another long day.

After work we stop at the food store to pick up a few things. At the grocery line we get bumped in the back of the leg. It wasn’t a painful bump but we are surprised the person said nothing. We turn around and see that the person, who bumped us, is on the phone laughing. They glance at us and quickly say, “Sorry”. The person at the register states what money we owe without even a glance. We begin to say thank you for the change but they have already started to ring up the next person.

When we get home we are greeted with a nasty response from our child who is busy texting friends, and a superficial response from our husband who is busy on the lap top. The phone rings and it is the bank. We needed information about changing an account. The person on the other end of the line gives us a spiel. When we question the person they snap a curt response and end by telling us to call another number if we still have questions. They finish with an exasperating reply for us to have a good day and they hang up the phone. Now we wonder if it is us or if the world is crazy.

Children used to respect their parents and their tone and words reflected this. People used to respect each other and their demeanor and speech expressed this. Many people are now running on the ever spinning treadmill. They are too tired to exhibit the niceties of kindness and empathy. Being well-mannered is not so much taught as understood. When we are aware of others and have a regard for others, we exhibit a concern and respect for them. If we continue to fill our lives with things that don’t count and don’t have any significance, then we leave little time left for the things that really do have importance. We don’t have to worry about inventing robots to do our bidding. We are becoming like robots. We are techno savvy at the expense of inner qualities of virtue and morality.

Happiness and kindness are dissipating. Anger frustration and aggression are increasing. All we have to do is observe what is around us. Nobody holds back their thoughts even if they are harsh and cruel. We are aware of the mechanisms of our many devices, yet less and less aware of the workings of the human spirit. The person we are aware of is the one at the end of our technology device. The live person in front of us is of no consequence. If we had a choice of humane qualities or accelerated technology, which would we choose. Most people would likely choose the technology. That is why we are now living in the kind of world we live in. The thought for today is to start reflecting on the loss of empathy and the loss of our connections to other human beings.

"If we would just slow down enough to consider what's true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel and be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read with your life's actions to hrhash would you be proud of the things they say  about how you spent your dash?"    Linda Ellis/Mac Anderson

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