A man is known to be good or bad according to the way he behaves towards others and under some circumstances. When his habits and manners are good, he is known to be a gentleman. A man with proper manners attracts the attention and admiration of everyone, whereas the man with ill-manners draws himself the ridicule and contempt of others. Cultivation of good manners should be started from the childhood and it is done so, it would become an asset in life. An accident was witnessed many years ago could be cited in support of such training being given early in life.
A well dressed and educated couple who appeared to belong to the higher levels of society were traveling in a first class compartment of an express train and with them was their girl child of about 3 years old. There were only three or four other passengers in the compartment. A few minutes after the train steamed out of the station, the child asked for a biscuit and it was given by her mother. When the girl was about to eat that, the mother snatched it away from her hands.
A few minutes later this ‘drama’ was enacted three times, the biscuit being snatched away when it was about to put to the lips. This attracted the attention of other passengers. The fourth time girl asked for the biscuit and when it was given, she said “Thank you Mummy”, and she was permitted to eat the biscuit. This was a training in good manners, training in courtesy, not given with scolding and rebukes and reminders from the mother, but one of a lesson in self-realisation.
This child was made to think and act; It was made to think and understand about the apparently meaningless and seemingly cruel act of the mother. If such training is given to every child the world would be a better place to live in. A man may be wealthy; he may be handsome; or he may, in addition have the advantage of enjoying power and position. But if he does not possess good manners, it would be useless to have such advantages. All these assets would be poor compensation for the lack of good manners.
There are many who would put up with even in insults from others, but would not tolerate bad manners. Good manners are invaluable to people everywhere, in every walk of life. The executive in an industrial concern would be honoured and respected more if his manners are such as to be courteous and polite to the subordinates. If a businessman forgets manners and is impolite, if not positively rude to his customers and employees, he will lose his customers and consequently have a loss in business financially too.
The same principle applies to the principal or professor in a college or university, to a lawyer or doctor. Good manners as exemplified in courtesy in speech and action are indispensable to traveling medical representatives or salesman, for their success depends upon the possession of this quality. They can be sure of good clientele only if they eschew rudeness or incivility or ill temper Good manners are, therefore, manifestation of good breeding and are indispensable to everyone.
The personality of a man is well brought out by his behaviour and speech and these are reflections of good manners. Even a man of ordinary looks or appearance, or a man who is not handsome may make a deep impression on others and give pleasures to others in his company if he possesses good manners. Similarly, an unscrupulous man may also succeed in his ways and hide his real nature if he develops his manners and passes for a gentleman. His courteous and polite actions or speech may succeed in deceiving others as to his real intention and nature.
Such is the effect of manners. A man is known by the dress he wears it is said. He will be better known to others if he possesses fine manners. Notoriety may also result from outward manners. Whether a man is good or bad, popular or unpopular, famous or notorious will depend upon his manners. His company would be welcomed or hated according to the manner in which he behaves with others. Hence, if one trains one’s children is in the development of courteous speech and action and polite behaviour one can be proud of giving to the nation worthy citizens.