Man­ners are not only for the din­ing table.  We need to use our man­ners wher­ever we go, espe­cially while out in pub­lic.  Recently, I was amazed at how poorly peo­ple behave when they are out in public.

I was a judge at the National Amer­i­can Miss pageant.  I had never attended a pageant before but was sur­prised by audi­ence mem­bers dur­ing one of the com­pe­ti­tions.  Peo­ple in the audi­ence were con­stantly cri­tiquing each par­tic­i­pant, except the per­son they came to see — who could do no wrong.  You never know who you are sit­ting around and you could be offend­ing fam­ily mem­bers or friends of another con­tes­tant.  You should keep your opin­ions to your­self until after the show.

I attended a con­cert at the beau­ti­ful Hol­ly­wood Bowl.  It is a per­fect loca­tion for a sum­mer con­cert out­door venue, every seat has a great view and there are fan­tas­tic acoustics.  How­ever, the acoustics back­fired as there were groups of peo­ple who talked through­out the con­cert  includ­ing a cou­ple of women behind me!  I wasn’t see­ing Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga.  I was see­ing Harry Con­nick, Jr.  You would expect an older, more refined crowd that would have the man­ners to behave prop­erly.  While attend­ing an event, you should show your respect by pay­ing atten­tion to the per­for­mance, espe­cially when the audi­ence around you has spent their hard earned money to attend.  They paid to see the per­former not to lis­ten to you dis­cuss the prob­lems you’re hav­ing with your nanny.

The most egre­gious event I wit­nessed was peo­ple talk­ing or going about their busi­ness dur­ing the play­ing of our national anthem.  I noticed this twice — the first time at the Harry Con­nick, Jr. con­cert and the sec­ond at Dis­ney­land.  At each loca­tion, an announce­ment was given to please stand for the singing of the national anthem.  Peo­ple at the con­cert stood, but some con­tin­ued their con­ver­sa­tions. At Dis­ney­land, peo­ple stood but oth­ers con­tin­ued about their busi­ness  talk­ing on their cell phones or  hus­tling towards rides.  Proper eti­quette is to stand and remove your hat.  The anthem is played to honor the men and women who have served or are serv­ing in the mil­i­tary, which allows all of us to enjoy the free­doms we have.  Being quiet for a cou­ple of min­utes doesn’t seem like too much of a price to ask for these freedoms.

I don’t think peo­ple mean to be dis­re­spect­ful.  I believe peo­ple do not know any bet­ter.  They were not taught proper eti­quette while grow­ing up and it reflects in their actions.  For­tu­nately, it is never too late to learn.  Sign up for a eti­quette class today.