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In today’s society are we getting sloppy with our manners and values? Or do we just need to coax them out a little more regularly?

I’m a great believer in teaching life lessons, and sometimes I learn one when I least expect to.

Late yesterday I did the 6.30pm dash to the local convenience store to buy something for dinner and cleverly avoid the supermarket, which we all know is anything but a dash. It’s the kind of shop that’s not a corner store and occasionally has specials. It’s not large nor overly busy, but this night there were a few fellow 6.30pm ‘dashers’ like me.

I’m standing in a pseudo queue of three people with three people serving like in the good old days, when a young girl appears, doesn’t realise there is a ‘pseudo queue’ so stands behind the person being served.

Now even though she appeared to be a queue jumper, she had the hall marks of someone who’s Mum had asked her to rush in and “pick up “x” for me”, and had $5 thrust into her hand. It’s the kind of thing my son does often for me.

We all know a queue jumper when we see one, and don’t get me wrong; I’m the first to give them the evil eye and the sigh. But this young girl simply didn’t meet the brief.

“Excuse me there’s a queue”, the man in front of me loudly barks at the girl. We’re all about to be served and out of here within the next minute and half, I think bemusedly. We’re not talking Coles on Christmas Eve here.



She seems to have not heard him. The man arranges himself a little more (as he moves up a spot in the queue), and calls again; “You’re pushing in” to her. By now she is blushing as she’s being served. He turns around and says to no one in particular “I have old fashioned values”.

As if that gets him off the hook for embarrassing a young girl with no ill intent, or knowledge of what she’d actually done. I thought how my son would feel if that was him. And I sneered down my nose at that man and his sense of indignance.

Old-fashioned values would have shrugged shoulders at witnessing a small mistake and ignored it. Old-fashioned values wouldn’t have made a fool of someone on purpose.

We all have a legacy of lessons we’ve learned that we try and pass on.

I think intuitively you know what’s right and wrong, you know the biggies and the ones you can let slide every now and again. And yes, it’s our job to live the values we’ve learnt and pass them on to the next generation, but times are changing and sometimes some of that old fashionedness has to change with it.

Because sometimes the way we teach the lesson is how the lesson is learnt.

What old fashioned values do you have? What manners are important for you to instill in your children?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Good manners are always so important. In your scenario both the girl and the man who berated her show bad manners, but at least the young girl blushed so you were probably right in thinking she didn’t realise she was jumping the queue till it happened. Makes giving/taking a number and waiting to be called seem so much more innocuous, now.

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  • Good manners are always important and always will be, although a lot of people are lacking them nowadays. My kids know a and use good manners every day

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  • Funny that it was a man who made a point of queue jumping in these circumstances. I cannot count the number of times I have been waiting at a supermarket queue with child/ren in tow and a MAN (always a man) behind me says “Ive only got a couple of things, can I go ahead of you?” Its said as a question, but is nothing more than a statement… they barge ahead before I’ve had a chance to answer. Do they really think anyone with kids want to be shopping for a second longer than they have to?

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  • Good manners are a must. I teach my daughter and remind her when there is a need. I feel there are some circumstances that others need to take a step back an analyse the situation before they give their 2 cents worth. Judgement can be just as bad as bad manners

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  • Good manners are a must! I was taught by my parents the importance of using good manners and im doing the same with my daughter.

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  • Good manners are important always. No matter the time or place they are essential! But I tell you what there are some nasty and rude people out there and they come I. All different ages. Our responsibility is to teach our children better and the the importance of not being bitter!

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  • good manners are always important no matter what

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  • Not as fashionable as they used to be but far more important than ever I say.

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  • I Cannot stand demanding children who never say please or thankyou and who expect everything done for them. my girls are only 3 and 18 months, both know where the bin is, where the laundry hamper is and when to use it. my 3 year old gets nothing without a please or a thankyou and never gets stuff in shops or at others houses unless she asks with manners. i have been to peoples houses and seen kids who just chuck cups away on the ground after finishing a drink and when i ask now whos going to pick that up, i get the answer Mummy will, I almost want to scream. what are we teaching our children.

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  • Yes good manners are definitely important. If any of my children don’t use their manners, they don’t get what they want until they do.

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  • looking great and awesome

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  • I have always tried to instill good manners in my kids. They are pretty good at using them mostly.

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  • looking exellent

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  • I work at a school in the office and sadly we have to remind so many kids to say please and thankyou for a bandaid or an ice pack. It’s really sad. I drill my boys if they don’t use their manners. They are still so important no matter how much society has changed.

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  • I always smile and wave or say hello to people who i walk past in the street of the town i live in, I say please and thank you all the time and i will never go to a cash register whilst i am on my mobile phone, it is so rude.

    i think it is important to know the basics, please and thank you, speak when spoken to (in the right situation obviously)..

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