Manners – Lesson for Group Study


Explore how manners impact relationships.



At our very core, we are self-obsessed creatures with rough edges and self-serving dispositions. Left to our own devices, we would happily hide within large protective shells of broken glass and sandpaper, rasping all foolish enough to cross our path.  Consider how our personalities change while in our cars. Safely encased within a ton of steel and glass, windows up, climate controlled and music blaring, our Christian tolerance can be strained by any who dare cut us off, drive too slow, or beat us to a parking place. Behind the wheel of our mobile metal universe, road rage can be a constant danger.

Manners help contain our self-centerness. Manners define how we show respect to others. The more people we bump into, the more our rough edges need to be smoothed over. The more people we interact with, the more we need simple rules of cooperation to direct our behavior, to demonstrate civility and appreciation for relationships important to us.

A hermit hidden in a cave has no need for politeness. A castaway marooned on a deserted island is free to be as harsh and hateful as he/she chooses. It is only when our lives intersect with others, that it becomes important to curb our selfish instincts and evaluate how we behave. Manners are more than polite greetings. They are the subtle social contracts that keep us from offending each other unnecessarily.

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