Young people often lack good manners

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 December, 2010, 12:00am

Last week, when I was commenting on one of my friends' observation, a schoolmate suddenly yelled at me from behind my back. She said she didn't like what I'd just said. She was so rude I was shocked. Many others were also speechless.

I believe this incident reflects worsening manners among students who lack self-control. You can regularly witness similar cases. Recently I heard a student using foul language on another student. Students also talk loudly on their mobile phones, some while even chewing gum.

Compared with earlier generations of students, youngsters today are often less polite and considerate. They are more confident but not always in a positive way.

As for the student who spoke badly to me, I have forgiven her. Her remark did affect me a lot. I think people should mind their manners and be polite to others.

Imelda Leung

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Imelda. Etiquette used to be a very important part of day-to-day interactions. In societies around the world, there were very definite rules on how to speak to and behave around certain people. These rules were strictest between members of different classes, but they existed, too, between family and friends.

While it is part of social progress that you will no longer be imprisoned for daring to look at royalty, it's a pity that manners are no longer as highly valued. Many people seem to think it is acceptable to interrupt others, swear loudly, speak with their mouths full of food, push in front of others on the train, let doors close in people's faces, not give their seats up to those who need them....

We should all have self-respect and not be afraid to express ourselves. Yet it's important to respect other people, too. Nobody enjoys being shouted at, pushed out of the way, or seeing someone's half-chewed lunch in their mouth. What's more, if you respect others by practising good manners, most will respect you in return.

Karly, Deputy Editor