This I believe: It's nice to be nice

I believe in the importance of manners in our modern society. In fact, I would even say that almost all social issues in a person’s world ultimately boils down to a lack of the understanding of social etiquette.

I once had a teacher who told me that if I could learn to understand good manners, I would always have good people and good things happening in my life. And since then, I have realized the truth of his words, because I have watched as people I knew have had a number of unfortunate things happen to them, but the more I thought about it, these events usually correlated with a lack of manners on someone’s part.

To me, “having manners” means a number of things: minding one’s business, taking responsibility for one’s actions, understanding what is considered right and wrong, understanding when and what to speak about, knowing one’s boundaries and, in general, attaining a pleasant and agreeable nature so that others may enjoy one’s company.

But in my very short 19 years of life, I have realized that expecting people to have manners is optimistic to the point of foolishness.

Actually, it is my opinion that, if everyone had a better understanding of social etiquette, there would be no conflict in the world.

Take, for example, a pair of roommates that must learn to live together for an entire year. From what I have witnessed, people tend to get along for some amount of time, but eventually one’s breach of etiquette may throw the other roommate over the edge.
Really, there could be a host of reasons why two people would be unable to live together, but it all comes down to someone’s lack of manners.

Next, think about that one friend of yours who is constantly complaining about being unable to find a significant other. Now, I would like you to hypothesize about why he or she might have that particular problem.

From what I have witnessed, people who have experienced this issue have managed to become unappealing to the opposite sex because they appear to be rude. This may be because that person may talk about themselves far too much or perhaps they just haven’t been able to attain that pleasant and agreeable nature that I mentioned earlier.

Regardless, I would bet that their lack of luck with the opposite sex has everything to do with a lack of manners and little to do with the malevolent qualities of that sex.

But on a larger scale, imagine if countries were to follow social etiquette. Through the minding of one’s business and the ability to communicate properly, we would probably never experience war.

In conclusion, I would like to remind all people to be conscious of social etiquette because, if everyone were to make the effort to have better manners, I can guarantee that the world would almost instantly become a better place, and people would be able to see the good that I know is in everyone.

Originally from Indiana, Pa., Katie Wagner is a sophomore Communication major minoring in Voice. Katie intends to continue on in the Communications field with graduate studies after Mercyhurst. What she likes best about Mercyhurst is that it is a small college with a small and close-knit student body.