Our purpose in being proper

January 29, 2015


This is a little different from most of my articles, but I was so bothered by the recent shootings of the innocent police officers in New York, I couldn’t stop thinking about how children are being raised, and the difference a few manners may make.

54c195e7d65d7.imageA west coast acquaintance was not happy I instructed my then three year old to say, “Yes ma’am” to her. She also didn’t think it was an act of kindness when my husband held the door for the two of us. She alluded that our Southern manners were an oppressive thing of the past.

But are manners important only for reasons of tradition, or is there a larger purpose in our properness?

iu-2When children learn there is a pecking order in society to which they must adhere, I think they’re more likely to learn the qualities of respect and honor. As much as some people would like to think, outside of God’s eyes, we aren’t all created equal, and when it comes to real-life, like it or not, there is usually going to be someone who is in charge of you. And whether or not you like your boss, commanding officer or principal, you need to show them due respect.

My son can be steaming mad at me for  . . . click HERE to read more.


“Southern with a Gulf Coast Accent” can be found in these fine newspapers: The Courier, The Foley Onlooker, The Islander, The Baldwin Times, The Independent, and The Sumter Item in South Carolina. 

If you are local, I’d like to invite you to join me Friday, February 6th at Greer’s Supermarket in Downtown Fairhope for the live broadcast of WABF radio, from 4-6pm, where I’ll be the featured writer of the month! There will be samples of all Greer’s specialties throughout the store with great fun just before the First Friday Art Walk. You’ll be able to sign up for a subscription to our fabulous Gulf Coast Newspapers and dance your way around the potatoes and cucumbers! Read more about it in an upcoming post.

  • Manners really are, at the core, about being considerate. I sure don’t think that is an “oppressive thing of the past” – more like living the Golden Rule!

  • I just loved reading this. I work at a private Christian elementary school and the children that show respect and have manners make my job so much easier. I was taught by my parents that morals and manners are essential in life. Sadly, children are not always taught this today and society reflects this. Manners will take you where money cannot.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I love your last sentence. So very true! Thanks for reading.

  • great article and post Leslie Anne, and my favorite thing about your writing is your honest voice…people are too politically correct these days while forgetting to be polite! I agree, the simple, old small acts of respect translate into a respectful adult, and it is devastating to see manners falling into non existence. Thanks for keeping it real~

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thank you, Jenna!

  • Another great post, Leslie Anne. I agree, manners are very important. I always tell the girls “class shows.” Have a great weekend!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Good words, and so true! Happy (warmer) weekend to you as well.

  • Very well said..thank you.

  • Thank you for writing this. I could go on for a long time about the lack of respect in our society and the bad behavior it leads to. But it all starts with one’s self — you must first have self respect.

    And it begins at home with parenting. We were watching a TV show last night where a kid said “whatever!!” to his daddy. I told Douglas that “if I had a kid!” (probably a good thing I don’t!), he/she would be in big trouble mouthing off like that.

    • Self respect? You nailed it. As a teacher, I am beyond tired of hearing that kids need self esteem. Kids need self respect and respect for others. They do not learn respect from TV and movies and many don’t learn it at home. Rarely are kids taught respect at school, either. My son was taught to say sir and ma’am and still says it to older people. When asked about it he explains he was taught respect and manners in the South and no matter where he lives he is still Southern.
      Seriously, I could write volumes on this.

      • Leslie Anne says:

        I think when you teach school you really get a dose of reality, and you are spot-on in your assessment. Go ahead and write volumes . . . if only the ones who need it would read it!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      R-E-S-P-E-C-T – find out what it means to (not have it and irritate the crud out of the rest of us) me.

  • Regena Fickes says:

    I feel as you do. I am so saddened as I watch parents of children demand they be treated as if they are adults and have a maturity to handle any situation. We were disciplined to handle many situations as we grew, but my grandchildrens generation, they feel entitled to be heard and allowed to behave any way they please. I could go on about the way children are being allowed to grow up and not being raised by responsible parents, but I doubt this the correct forum. May God have mercy.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      You are right. We need to teach children to think for themselves so they will know what to do in many different situations. Parents today want to either make all the decisions or none.

  • What a great post! So true and something every parent should read!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Thanks so much.

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