"There is little difference between good manners,
a respectable citizen and humane education" Each one is showing
respect for other living things, and each one has a foundation of
teachings or guidelines - also not separate from one another."
"I'll just assume that someone who addresses others with the
dignity and respect we speak of here, such as 'please', 'thank you',
'Mr.' Ms. or 'yes sir' and 'no sir' is not going home in the evening
and spouting obscenities, abusing other people or harming an animal.
They have the respect of other humans and animals to be dignified
and offer proper communications and subsequent treatment thereof."
THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL BENEFITS OF GOOD
Good manners compliment the more compassionate and respectful
lifestyle we hope for.
'Now, Randy, you know you don't address Scott's mom by her first
name.” my mother would say.“Hello, Mrs. Hocker”, I'd say as my face
turned red. Of course, this played right along with the 'Please and
Thank you” reminders I would hear from both my parents, as well as
Returning to the olden days of the previous century when I was
raised, as many of you were as well, we were taught manners. We were
to address all persons with respect such as “Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith”
etc. To show appropriate appreciation for receiving a gift or a meal
was all part and parcel of the teachings as well.
I don't think there is a human alive over the age of 24 that would
not like to see the phrase “Yo dog, wassup?” eliminated from the
language of our young people. Although 'Yes sir” and No Sir” may not
become the norm, the simple salutation of 'yes' or 'no' and 'hello',
etc. would still be much improved over most of today's greetings
from those who will someday be our nation's leaders.
But how would manners relate to a more humane or compassionate world
for our next generation to consider? Well, those who are taught good
manners will recognize that they play an integral part in living a
more compassionate life. It wouldn't be good manners to pull in
front of that car making a left, or to exclaim your anger with the
person who just took up two lanes or grabbed the last pack of gum.
Thus, it would also not be in good mannerly form to do harm to any
living thing - after all, good manners is based on respect for all.
That is the multi-dimensional benefit of having and stressing good
manners into your children and students.
It is a consistent & humbling means of showing each and every person
that, when addressing or interacting with all humans, you must
display your gratitude and respect. It's a civilized means of
showing respect. In most all cases, this is simply respect or
Taking this one step further, when you have a
solid basis of practicing good manners and you find yourself in a
situation where proper etiquette is more developed than what you are
accustomed to, you would find it necessary to ask questions so as to
avoid any harmful or embarrassing actions on your part. You wouldn't
want to sit down to a full course meal if you had never experienced
This should also fall into place when becoming a good responsible
guardian for your pets. Unfortunately though, all too often, it
doesn't at all. It would not be appropriate or respectable to
provide your new pet with less than what it deserves or with
inappropriate care, so it would be wise to gather the necessary
information you would need to give the newly adopted pet more
conducive accommodations. But, the majority of Americans convince
themselves that caring for a pet is just so simple and therefore
refuse to ask questions of anyone else for fear of appearing stupid.
It's a topic almost as volatile as politics and religion in mixed
company. It doesn't make sense. Politics is similar to religion in
that it's based on preferences and faith. Being a responsible pet
guardian means you are taking a life into your care. . Being a GOOD
guardian for your pet is not based on 'opinions', but on facts.
Facts that, when ignored, can and do cause most of the problems we
see in today's pets with the increased number of dog bites,
insurance companies profiles selected breeds, etc. People who are
respectful of other living beings - those who are seen as well
mannered and caring individuals, are much more likely to show a more
compassionate means of caring for their animals.
Dogs and cats are not pieces of luggage that we leave outside in the
elements or dispose of simply because our lives have changed or
becomes too inconvenient, but are living beings. Beings that can't
speak out. Yes, they do a good job of communicating to us, but most
humans are so uninformed when it comes to animals, they simply
So, when one is really a well mannered person, the expectation of
their actions would be that he/she would take into consideration,
all that should matter to the person or persons or animals that are
being addressed or handled. Consideration for feelings, comfort and
appropriate treatment. Appropriate being what is best for the party
or animal being dealt with - not necessarily what the person feels
is best for them. That is respect. That is kindness. That is
responsibility. Those are all good manners.
I'll just assume that someone who addresses others with the dignity
and respect we speak of here, such as 'please', 'thank you', 'Mr.'
Ms. or 'yes sir' and 'no sir' is not going home in the evening and
spouting obscenities, abusing other people or harming an animal.
They have the respect of other humans and animals to be dignified
and offer proper communications and subsequent treatment thereof.
A good example for this would be a young boy is fortunate enough to
adopt his first dog. Horses are meant to meant to roam and graze
over large parcels of land. They love to run. This also applies to
dogs, with the simple difference that dogs have been domesticated
for ten's of thousands of years.
Keeping a younger dog in a kennel during your absence and duing
potty training, is considered acceptable. But, once the dog is fully
grown, the same kennel may be too small for it to receive the
necessary exercise required by such a dog. Just as allowing any dog
access to your back yard during the day when at work or school is
considered acceptable and appropriate, sentencing a dog to a life of
being outside and alone is not. There are many reasons found through
solid research studies to support this. It's no longer a matter of
opinion, but is a solidly proven matter of right vs wrong.
So tying a dog to a post or limiting its space to a dog run, would
certainly NOT be in the dogs' best interest for good mental or
physical health. Even allowing the dog to roam freely around a
properly fenced back yard without any socialization with other dogs
or any human family members is also in complete disregard for the
needs of the dog. The dog needs companionship and socialization.
The poorly thought out excuses for doing any of these things to a
dog are given by those who have chosen not to consider any of the
dogs' needs. Those humans have even mistakenly assumed that, as a
result of these actions, they could somehow benefit from these
accommodations. In other words, it is clearly those who are
uninformed and more self focused who would assume these limited
situations are acceptable. Simple lack of thought or intellect.
It's unacceptable when having guests, to allow them
to be uncomfortable or feel 'left out' in conversations or
activities during their visit. We are taught to be kind, welcoming
and to make them feel comfortable during their time with us. To
allow an injury or even harsh words would be totally out of line
with the teachings that accompany good manners.
People with a good base of manners would never dream of purposely
doing harm to another living being and would go out of their way to
avoid placing them in the way of harm. It does tend to reflect a
more compassionate means of living and treating others - at least
human beings. So, I wonder what would happen to those who simply
toss a pet outside and leave it there for the rest of it's life.
These decisions are not made on the advise they've received from a
professional or by reading a 'how-to' book from the library. They
are totally based on a lack of information they have on the It has
been shown and proven over recent years that dogs who are only kept
alone in a back yard or tied to a post will:
* suffer from anxiety and do much more damage to property and
his or her surroundings
* become more anti social throughout this type of treatment -
resulting many times in the relinquishing of said pet to the local
dog pound. (excessive barking at night, uncontrollable digging and
destruction of surroundings, constant jumping and even escaping in
an effort to find anyone who will provide him or her with the
attention they require.)
* will be much more likely to suffer from unrecognized ailments
such as infections, viruses and other injuries for extended periods
of time. The worst part of this is that when ultimately seen by a
vet, the cost to correct the ailment is now in the hundreds or even
thousands of dollars and the human decides to have the dog
euthanized in order to save money. Clearly, had the human noticed
this red eye, ear infection or swollen leg 6 months earlier, the vet
would likely have been able to correct it with a simple vaccination
and a few pills of anti-biotics.
* almost certainly be expected to protect the property in the
back yard as well as the residents of the home with no training or
guidance of any kind. Yes, the dog will bite someone in the near
future, but it will not likely be an unwanted intruder, but more
likely be a guest or utility man who is welcome in the yard, but
nobody ever made it clear to the dog as to what to look for. Another
poor excuse to have the poor dog put to sleep. The same dog is also
the neighborhood nuisance for barking throughout the night - barking
which the owners have, over time, disregarded due to its'
consistency. Most importantly, even if the dog were to recognize an
intruder who has gained access inside the home to burglarize or
cause harm to the residents, there is no way to gain access for the
dog, so protection of the most important commodity on the premises -
the residents- is simply made impossible. All this is a simple lack
of common sense.
Countering the previous with the more compassionate
as well as educated means of caring for the very same dog by
allowing it limited access into the home, one hour before bedtime,
giving it some affection, checking it for infections or injuries,
(not necessary to provide free-reign throughout the home or access
to furniture, but provided with a blanket beside your favorite chair
for that hour and then sleeps in his or her special bed near the
back door until you wake up the following morning.) this dog will be
more likely to do much less damage to property, will certainly not
be a nighttime nuisance with constant unnecessary barking, retain
good health from receiving the appropriate attention and have teh
ability to truly protect the residents from any unwanted intruders.
Don't think for a moment that, once inside the house, they can't
recognize or identify an unwanted intruder who is prowling outside.
There are many reasons why humans feel that their particular pets
are best left outside. They range from ALLERGIES, SMELLS, to NEWBORN
BABIES and feel that having a TIED UP DOG up is perfectly
acceptable. In today's world, there are few if any honest reasons
for keeping a dog outside. Ignorance is the only one that comes to
mind. Any person who is knowledgeable or the least bit
compassionate would not do this. Yes, there are exceptions to every
rule - the liklihood that you are one of them is almost non
Clearly, allowing your pet dog access inside the
home eliminates the problems people see by locking them outside.
Humans are healthier when living WITH pets. Pets that live inside
with them. It calms them and reduces the chance of heart attack and
high blood pressure. It builds stronger immune systems - especially
in young children. It allows the human to recognize the gift they
have been given in friendship and loyalty. Most importantly, the
inside dog can protect the family in almost every situation that
arises, and cannot when restricted to a dog run or especially when
chained to a post.
Good manners simply plays a part in the
humane treatment of animals, or, doing the right thing. Regardless.