Written by Monica Irvine
If we’re not careful, we are going to raise a generation who do not understand respect for sacred things. Recently, I was at a Memorial of an event that took place on American soil where many innocent lives were lost. I was really shocked to see several people and children behaving very inappropriately on such sacred ground. Parents were allowing their children to run and jump while laughing and screaming. Teens were busy taking “selfies” while smiling and laughing in front of monuments. Adults had their cellphones ringing with loud obnoxious ring tones. I was thinking, “What are we thinking? How have we become so flippant about such sacred things?”
Parents, we must do better. We have got to be better examples and help our children to understand the value of life, sacrifice, loss, honor, respect, sacredness. It starts when they are very young. It starts by the way we teach them to use hushed tones and quiet behavior when visiting sacred places. And just because a place is not sacred to us, does not mean we don’t show respect to those who do view it as sacred. That’s what respect is. It means showing that we value the feelings of others through our behavior and words.
Also recently, a young teen received thousands of “hate mail” messages after she posted a “selfie” of herself smiling in front of the ruins of a War World ll concentration camp. She had no idea that posing and smiling in front of such a horrible reminder of so much pain was inappropriate.
Once we lose sight of honoring our history, of honoring our heritage and honoring places that others view sacred or holy, then we truly will have become an uncivil society. This must be an ongoing conversation with our children. Start by taking your children to places that represent history and beforehand, study about what took place there, so that they can try to grasp why we visit it and why it is important to remember these people and places that helped shape our world.
A society in danger of loosing their way is a society that is quick to forget the past. I hope we can all make a better effort in making sure that we pass on to our children a love and admiration for sacred things and may we all be humble enough to understand the importance of it.
Monica Irvine, president and creator of The Etiquette Factory, LLC, is a master motivator and dedicated instructor who loves to help children and adults see the benefits and rewards of having proper etiquette, mastering professionalism, and excelling in social skills. A certified Etiquette Instructor who has worked in the hospitality industry for 24 years, Mrs. Irvine specializes in etiquette and professional instruction to help ensure the success of each individual, both personally and professionally.
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