Mind Your Mayonnaise

What do Political Pundits, the Congressman from South Carolina, Serena Williams, online forum posters and Kanye West have in common?

They all need a bar of lava soap and a lesson in good manners.

Do you allow your child to make fun of you if he disagrees with you? Do you allow her to call you a liar when you're speaking to a group of people? If you tell them that they did something wrong, can they threaten to shove an "effin" tennis ball down your throat?

Of course not, and yet we tolerate and even celebrate bad behavior in our celebrities, politicians and sports figures. And what about our own behavior?

Despite the occasional crass body noise, I think my children have pretty good manners. They hold doors for people, speak to others (siblings excluded) with respect, and accept respectful criticism. They use "yes ma'am" as a sign of respect, say "please" and "thank you" and clean up after themselves at fast-food restaurants. (Well, I do remind them to "Mind your mayonnaise. . .")

But I must set the example. If they see me acting with a lack of class or dignity, it doesn't do me much good to insist that they hold themselves to a higher standard. I never post anything online that I wouldn't stand behind, I "agree to disagree" when I don't see eye-to-eye with others, and I try to afford common courtesy to everyone I encounter.

I'm not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. . .but I have to walk the walk if I'm going to talk the talk.

So, what do you think? Have you had enough of bad manners?

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