ue bot icon

The Lost Art of Manners: A Reflection on Modern Etiquette

January 22, 2024

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, it often feels like manners have become a relic of the past. It’s as if a whole generation has forgotten what it means to be well-mannered, and it’s time to remind ourselves of the importance of simple acts of courtesy and respect.

Here are just a few examples of the manners that seem to have slipped through the cracks:

  1. Talking Loudly on Your Phone: Whether you’re on a treadmill or in any other shared space, speaking loudly on your phone without regard for those around you can be incredibly disruptive. Remember, your conversation isn’t meant for everyone’s ears.
  2. Neglecting Gym Equipment: Leaving gym equipment sweaty and unclean is not only inconsiderate but also unhygienic. A simple wipe-down after use can make a big difference.
  3. Holding Doors Open: Holding a door for someone walking behind you is a small gesture that goes a long way in showing respect and kindness.
  4. Mindful Language: Using profanity, especially around children and the elderly, can be offensive and disrespectful. It’s essential to be aware of your language in various settings. I remember my dad saying profanity is a sign of a lazy and limited vocabulary.
  5. Respecting Knowledge: Instead of demeaning someone explaining something you don’t understand, show patience and respect for their knowledge. We all have something to learn from each other.
  6. Treating Elders with Respect: Older individuals deserve our respect and attention. Ignoring them or treating them as if they don’t exist is a disheartening trend.
  7. Offering Your Seat: Giving up your seat to those who need it more, such as pregnant women or the elderly, is a gesture of compassion and empathy.
  8. Avoiding Snide Comments: Making snide remarks towards homeless people or those less fortunate is not only unkind but also reflects poorly on your character.
  9. Responsible Driving: Cutting people off in traffic without reason not only endangers others but also shows a lack of responsibility on the road. There are over 40,000 traffic related fatalities each year in this country – why are we all okay with this?
  10. Listening Actively: Letting others finish speaking before you chime in demonstrates respect for their thoughts and opinions.
  11. Inclusive Networking: Everyone deserves acknowledgment and respect at networking events, regardless of their status or position. Focus on who you are with, not on scanning for better options. There are polite ways to exit conversation.
  12. Punctuality: Being consistently late or leaving meetings early is not only disrespectful but also unprofessional. Your time is not more important than anyone else’s.
  13. Respectful Disagreements: Instead of talking over people you disagree with, engage in constructive conversations that foster understanding.
  14. Respecting Air Travel Etiquette: When flying, avoid taking oversized bags as carry-ons and hogging the overhead compartments. Offer help to people struggling to get their bags out of their compartments. And, let the people ahead of you exit first.
  15. Cleaning Up After Yourself: Leaving trash on a fast-food table or in a public space is thoughtless and contributes to a messy environment.
  16. Saying “thank you”, “please”, or “your welcome“: A few small thoughtful words can make a big difference.


The list could go on and on, but what’s particularly peculiar is the prevalence of virtue signaling in today’s society. Many people seem to take the moral high ground, yet their actions tell a different story. It’s important to remember that everyone deserves respect, and all individuals are created equal, even if they don’t achieve equal outcomes. We live in a world where our actions affect others, and we should treat each other with dignity, always mindful of this fact.

At some point in life, everyone faces humbling experiences. The question is, do we care about how our actions affect others, and if we do, why not? What would our parents or grandparents say if they witnessed our interactions in a professional setting or among a group of people? It’s worth noting that it takes just as much effort to be kind as it does to be rude, so why not choose kindness?

In conclusion, let’s strive to bring back the lost art of manners in our daily lives. Simple acts of courtesy and respect can make a significant difference in how we interact with one another and contribute to a more harmonious and considerate society. Remember, manners are free, and they’re a priceless gift we can offer to the world.