The Perfect Gentleman Issue 6 - Page 25

MANNERS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE By James Marwood Children and teenagers get a bad rap when it comes to manners. Ever since Plato ‘The youth of today’ have been described as an unruly, greedy and selfish lot, not paying the due deference to their elders and above all being impatient. on the train. Not just helping him with his bag or to his seat, but talking to him, listening and then helping him find the number for his son on his smartphone. More than many would have done and for no other reason than good manners. Of course, this is not entirely the case. As I travel or spend time with family and friends I see many examples of young people exhibiting thoughtfulness and care for those around them. It may be that these are noticeable because they’re unusual but I’m not sure that’s correct. If I were to analyse the incidents I see I’m sure I’d see adults and younger people acting with about the same levels of manners and rudeness. I see this as well with my godchildren. They are well mannered and polite without being any less fun or delightfully child-like. They naturally talk to those around them, share their toys and snacks and are generally a delight to be around. They run and shout and have fun like any child, but they know not to interrupt, to share and to talk politely to people of any age. There are particular examples that stick in the mind. For example a week or so back I saw a young man in his mid-teens take care of a disoriented and struggling older chap This last one is especially important. Many of the people I’ve met who struggle with social interaction and with speaking to others seem to have become stuck with this at a young age. They were never taught to Junior Gentleman 25