Good manners do matter

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Do good manners really make a difference? One Suffolk teenager thinks they do, and she spent a good portion of her summer developing and teaching a curriculum designed to teach youngsters how to comport themselves well in most any situation.

Jacquelyn Hendricks, a Girl Scout from Troop 5292 in Driver, is working toward her Gold Award, the highest award possible for a Girl Scout. The award requires that a Scout come up with a sustainable service project for her community. Hendricks decided that a course on manners could make a big difference, so she channeled her inner Judith Martin and, much like the famous Miss Manners, she set out to teach others how to live gracefully.

“I chose this as my project, because I really feel members of society are losing touch with manners and respect,” Hendricks said this week. “I witness it daily, and I wanted to create a program to improve this is in our community.”

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Working with a small group of girls at the Northern Shores and Creekside recreation centers, Hendricks has taught on a variety of topics, from teamwork and sportsmanship to phone and social media etiquette to table manners and speech etiquette.

The program concluded with a formal dinner, allowing the girls to showcase for their parents what they had learned during the the week. During the course of the program, she also filmed videos that she intends to upload to YouTube.

We hope they are widely watched.

Who among us has not experienced the loud cellphone conversation of someone at a nearby table during a dinner out? For that matter, how many of us can honestly say we haven’t spent a portion of some recent family meal perusing our social media accounts?

If “please” and “thank you” were more common in our speech, imagine how much kinder the world would be.

Good manners have gotten short shrift in our selfie society. We’re glad to know that someone from the rising generation of young adults is taking up the cause.