Friday 9 December 2016

It's a question of respect, and the nation's flunking it

A country can be impoverished by more than just financial woes. Patricia Redlich laments our loss of good manners

Published 14/03/2010 | 05:00

THE wise woman in the doctor's waiting room says it succinctly. We gave up on good manners 10 years ago, she argues. Now we have anti-social kids we can't control. She's right, though her time frame may be somewhat skewed since we are sitting in a country GP's practice, where a tight community has delayed social decay.

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Over the years, the letters in my postbag have been legion from men and women struggling with distress about being let down, stood up, treated carelessly, socially dismissed, emotionally battered, and badly treated in the workplace, where simple good manners would have gone a long way towards easing the heartache.

You don't break up with a text message. Not only is it cowardly, it's lacking in courtesy. The relationship was face to face. The dismantling of that relationship has to be the same. It doesn't change the factual outcome. It does leave the ex-lover with their dignity. And that makes a huge difference.

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