I do NOT believe in watching television. I’m a big advocate of spending (notice the word “spending”) my time doing productive things like… well… anything that moves one forward.
However, I must say that for the past six or so months, I’ve been glued to Netflix, etc watching, and re-watching, “Downton Abbey.”
I’m sure that I watch this programme (I couldn’t resist the British spelling ) for the same reasons that so many “average” people watch… it’s a great glimpse into what “wealthy” meant in 19th century England. It’s a wonderful period piece that examines the chasm between the “upstairs” and “downstairs” of Edwardian England, and, of course, it’s a well-written SOAP OPERA!
However, one of the great take-aways that i get from the programme is the great use of MANNERS. I love MANNERS. I believe in Manners.
I once read that manners were the great “social lubricant.” Manners give us the rules, by which we know what to do and when. What to say and when, and how to fit into any situation without worrying what people will say, because we’ve played by the rules of “manners.”
I’m frequently mocked by people in I know, including some of my friends that have clearly told me that manners don’t matter any more.
I completely disagree.
Without manners, we have those people that wear completely inappropriate clothing out in public. Without manners, a hostess throws a dinner party without any thanks or recognition. Without manners, we dine at a restaurant listening to other’s cell phones and text messages. Without manners, none of us knows how to begin a civilized conversation. Without manners, bad language continues to become more and more accepted.
Have I been guilty of any of these indescretions… you bet.
People that observe social graces clearly identify with others that observe the same graces. We know each other. From the receptionist at a hotel, to the matre’d a a restaurant, to the host or hostess that invites us to dinner, to the gentleman that holds the door for an unknown lady. We know each other, and we will continue to gravitate to one another, because manners make the man or woman and people with manners WANT to be with others with manners.
I hold in highest regard those gentlemen and gentlewoman that strive to keep all the manners, old-fashioned and new-fashioned.
Hail, hail to Downton Abbey.