Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Heart of Good Manners and Grammar


Today I have been thinking of manners and good speech.  I have often heard that good manners are not important for ourselves, but they are for making others around you feel comfortable and respected.  They are not something ones does to raise their own level, but a manner of restraining oneself to put another’s comfort before their own.

I think that is a good way to view it.  The same can be said of grammar, or many acts that we do.

It is important to practice good hospitality and make others feel comfortable and well received.  We do need to be thinking about how our words and actions make other people feel.  We should be kind and loving towards others in every way we can be.

However, I notice many are starting to take a different view.  There are more people mocking poor grammar, regional accent/dialect, attire, or various aspects of a person’s education and life.

What surprises me about this is not that it happens.  I expect worldly people to fall into the trap of mocking others.  Christian believers, we should be thinking and acting differently.  We need to put the hearts and feelings of others before our own.  Do you realize when you mock someone’s grammar you are being quite hurtful?  Many do this on facebook for a little laugh.  I understand the need for a smile and laugh.  We all need smiles.  Please be careful that you do not take your smiles and laughs at the expense of another.

We do not always know someone else situation.  They may not have been as blessed with the opportunities for education you have.  They may not have been as encouraged in their lives.  They may have hardships you do not know of. 

Besides that, while it is certainly important to learn things like good manners and good grammar, are these things REALLY more important than the hearts and minds of others?  I would say certainly not.

I may not always use the best grammar.  It doesn’t always mean I do not know how.  Sometimes it is lack of time to proof and nit pick my writings.  I do my best to be as clear and concise as possible to be understood, but I don’t spend a huge amount of time proofing.  I do look things over within the time I have, but that is it.  I simply consider the HEART of what is being said to be of FAR greater importance than HOW it is said. 

I am also one that has a regional accent.  My accent is Appalachian.  It sounds similar to a southern accent, but there is a different “twang” to it.  My husband and I both learned quickly, in certain situations, we drop the accent.  (ie interviews)  We know others will view us as less intelligent simply because of a regional accent!  I find that so sad.  I feel sad when I see people make fun of southerner, rednecks, etc. 

If people those who are so quick to do that, would take that time and get to know more of us “rednecks”, then they might find we are not so bad.  Some of the most kind, giving, selfless, and humble people I know would also be described as having terrible grammar, manners, and a “hick” accent.  I am okay with that.  I have been blessed to have known them.  I aspire to be more like them.

Remember good manners are to put others at ease and comfort.  Thus it follows that boasting of your own intelligence, while putting others down, is actually a contradiction.  It is a false pride.

The Lord values humility and meekness.  We are required to love others, including our enemy.  We are required to be kind and treat others how we wish to be treated.  We are required to show hospitality.  Let us be self-controlled in our speech.  May we never use our educated speech to put another down or trample upon their hearts.

If you enjoy being a “grammar nazi”  (this is a term many happily bestow upon themselves) great!  I am glad you are trying to polish your skills.  It is a good thing to know.  Do practice good grammar and manners often. 

However, focus on your own words and those that are under your teaching such as your children.  While you teach them good grammar, precise pronunciations, and excellent manners… do not neglect the more important matters of the heart.  May we never let our intelligence lead us to pride.   


I share these thoughts in hopes that it will lead us to think of others, before we speak(or type). I know it is well possible, many have done this and simply not thought about how it can make another person feel. I say these things not to pick on anyone in particular. It is a general pattern of behavior I have seen and occasionally have been guilty of in the past. I truly hope if I ever made anyone feel badly in this manner, I beg their forgiveness. May we walk a narrow path and display fruits such as self-control, humility, meekness, and love.




 

1 comment:

  1. I agree! We do not know their education back ground, I have a son who is a phonetic speller, he spells it just how he hears it, it has caused him much stress in the school system but we strive on. You have a great blog here, I have found your videos to be quite helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete