Missing manners

imageI used to pity dentists who spent most of their working lives peering down people’s throats. Increasingly, this is an experience shared by anyone travelling on public transport or walking in a shopping centre. I refer to the sight of a gaping mouth when a fellow traveller or shopper yawns without placing their hand over their mouth. As a youngster, I was taught very firmly, to cover my mouth when I yawned, coughed or sneezed. It appears to me that those lessons in basic good manners are no longer passed on to the next generation. Whether this is the responsibility of parents or teachers, I don’t know but it seems to have been lost.

I suspect school teachers are dissuaded from passing on what might be thought of as middle class values for fear of “discrimination” or some other politically correct nonsense. If that happens for a generation, you have a set of parents largely ignorant of good manners. This might explain a growing lack of simple good manners in society but how to recover?

I can only suggest faking a yawn and ostentatiously raising one’s hand in response to the sight of the back of someone else’s throat but I fear such example may pass over the head of people who have never heard of good manners.  I think it goes back to schools.


About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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