I once heard that saying "please" is admitting that you need help and realizing that the fulfillment of that need takes time from someone else. Saying "thank you" indicates that you truly appreciate what was given to you, and that you were not entitled to it. Wow, let me break that down! I need help, and I'm not entitled to it, so I should be appreciative when I receive it! (But I thought the world revolved around me! ha ha!)
When it comes down to it, manners are really all about thinking of others! Take into consideration those that are around you, and then act on that consideration. Do this and you too can have good manners. The best way to teach your children manners (and pass on this dead art) is to lead by example. Children are little mirrors of their parents, what you see is what you have taught them! So, if your children's manners are not the best,perhaps, your own manners need some brushing up. Sometimes we do not even realize that we are demonstrating bad manners. All you have to do is stop and think. At first it make seem like an inconvenience, but after a while it will become like second nature to you.
Keep in mind the person walking behind you into the market; hold the door open for them. Make an effort to not be on the cell phone when you walk up to the register to check out. Say, "thank you" for your service (regardless of if it was really great service, that is a whole other blog post brewing right there though! ha ha!) Kindly, let the person with their blinker on, over, instead of speeding up to avoid letting one more car get in front of you. When you accidentally bump into someone because you were texting instead of looking where you were walking, say, "excuse me" and apologize. I realize that we all lead busy lives, and in these lives the world does revolve around us and our families, but these small courtesies will cost you only seconds a day, and in the grander scheme of things they will make your world and someone Else's a better place.
Imagine if everyone exercised good manners! Well, that will never happen you may think to yourself. Well you are absolutely correct, not everyone will aways use manners, it's true! However, you can cause a small wave of kindness in a sea of self-centeredness. Revive common courtesy by teaching it to your children. Teach your children that the world does not revolve around them, and that they should appreciate everything, even the smallest things, for they are not entitled to anything. Teach them to be mindful of other people's needs and not just their own. Teach them to be helpful. Instilling your children with your morals, and values, and showing them how to respect people around them, will not only make your family life more pleasant, but it will pay off for years to come. These lessons will assist your children as they grow up and pursue their own personal and professions lives. Just think how bright your courteous children will shine in this dark world of rudeness! :)