There are few things more important to the Southern people than manners. Manners have always been the number one thing taught to children at a very young age. Manners are the hallmark of a civilized and moral society. I have noticed in this last generation of Southern children that this fundamental of Southernness is falling to the wayside. So in order to reclaim our Southernness and not lose who we are and what makes us who we are this is a lesson in the very basics of proper southern manners. I expect these to be displayed by my children and cringe when the children of others do not show an understanding of these things.
1. Always say please. There is no request too small or trivial to not be accompanied by the word please. Please can soften even the hardest of hearts.
2. Always say thank you. Again there is nothing done for you so small that does not merit being followed by those two simple words. Thank you.
3. When making a request of someone, ask for it instead of telling. I have heard many times recently, "You need to take me to so and so's house." That is the most uncivil way of making a request. The proper way would be " Would you please take me to so and so's house?" Which version makes you want to fulfill the request?
4. Ma'm and Sir. Ladies and gentlemen your senior should always be addressed with the proper title ma'm or sir. It is a sign of a respect and civility. It in no way ever intones servitude, simply respect and good upbringing. Those who have dropped these two little words from their vocabulary are considered arrogant, and of low class.
5.Women in the South are referred to as Ladies. All women are Ladies and we expect to be treated as such. Chivalry is not dead in the South and a gentleman would be well advised that to court a young Southern woman he must be prepared to treat her as if she were the most precious thing of the face of the earth. Ours daddy's told us we were princesses, other men must carry on that designation and that treatment because our daddy's could not have been wrong.
These are the very basics of Southern manners. Every generation of Southron has been raised with these drilled into their heads from birth. These latter generations are seeming to lose the skill of fine manners, respect, and Southern hospitality. Reclaim your heritage, your morals, and your standards instill good solid manners in your children. Your children are a direct reflection of you and who you are, don't let it be a bad reflection.