I consider myself lucky, because I live in one of the last worlds where manners are allowed to be taught – the Martial Arts school. Name me another place where manners and courtesy are allowed to be taught.
School? No way! “You are not going to impose your values on my kid!”
Work? Puleeze! Most corporate handbooks read like Kindergarten rules (no hair pulling, keep your hands to yourself, try to keep your pants on, etc)
Church? Maybe. But most of the time even in church, you learn WHAT to do, not HOW to do it.
In ancient times, samurai were trained killers. It would make sense that when these people came together to train, they would not want to accidently challenge or offend their training partners. Etiquette and manners were (and are) an important part of the training process in the Martial Arts.
So, at the Martial Arts school, we always say “hello”, “goodbye”, “please” and “you’re welcome”, we wait for someone to finish before we speak to them, etc. Oh, and “thank you”. We say (and mean) “thank you” a lot. And you know what? Before you know it, it becomes part of your lifestyle. You start to find that the “little pleasantries” in life mean more than you thought they did. You become more pleasant, and everyone around you becomes more pleasant as a result.
But here is the kicker; people are so programmed nowadays to expect you to bicker, complain and whine, that they are stunned when you present proper manners. And, the next time they need or want something, who will they choose? The guy who treated them like crap? No, the one who sticks out in their memory as being pleasant/mannered. I attribute my manners to my success in life as much as my college education (one cannot replace the other, however). Its that important.
There are some important points to remember, however. 1) You must be sincere. People have an uncanny ability to detect a fraud. 2) Don’t expect an immediate return on your investment (“if I am well-mannered in the interview, they are sure to hire me!”). Over the course of months and years, good manners will get you more in life that poor manners. 3) Dont expect people to understand you when you show exceptional manners; they will look at you like you have a fungus. It will take 2 or 3 times before they “get it”.
So would you like to increase the results of whatever you do in life? Great, just keep doing it, and add exceptional manners. It costs very little, but it will get you to stand out in the crowd. And if you don’t know how to have exceptional manners? Come visit us at Aikido of Nebraska, we can help.