Skip to comments.Do good manners and discipline still survive in Dixie?
Posted on 11/21/2010 8:23:21 AM PST by Huck
I'd like to hear from any Freepers down in Dixie on a societal question. I'd like to know if the old southern virtues survive, or if mass-media culture has erased or eroded them. I'm talking about the basic manners, and in particular, the relationship of young people to adults. Allow me a moment to explain.
I was born and raised in New Jersey. I was in many respects NOT raised right. EXCEPT, I was fortunate enough to spend extended periods down in Alabama with my grandmother. I attended public school for a short time in Alabama as well. This was in the 1970s.
Culturally, Alabama demonstrated superiority to New Jersey in two specific areas. They demonstrated better manners generally, and they had a more structured and appropriate relationship between adults and children. In Alabama schools, all adults were addressed with Yes Sir and No Sir or Yes M'am and No M'am. No exceptions. This was unquestioned by any student. And in the community generally, the adults were all on one team, and the kids were all on another. No adult ever sided with a kid against another adult. The first response was always to support the authority of the elder, and to reproof the child, pending investigation.
Here in NJ, it was NOT like that, inside of school or out. I find that this Yankee culture is inferior. The best one can do here is to send a child to Catholic School, but even then, the general culture does not support manners, decorum, and institutionalized respect for elders. It's chaotic here. It's a mess.
So, back to my question. I'm very curious to know if this culture still survives in the south. I hope it does. I wish there were some way to transplant it to the rest of the country. I'd love to hear some thoughts and reports from Dixie freepers.
And if anyone treated me otherwise, I'd slap the crap out of em.;-)
It’s fading fast, we are up to our butts in carpetbaggers.
Yes, for the most part if the children were raised in rural areas.
Please pass that absolutely delicious BBQ. More iced tea? Another biscuit? More gravy?
You're very welcome.
I think so, but of course not everywhere or with everyone.
I must be old.
The South and the Midwest are by far more friendly, less pretentious and generally more laid back.
We’ve been stationed all over the US in the past 27 years and it is really a difference between night and day to compare the mannerism of people from the South to people in CT or Washington state.
In Texas they do. My wife got a flat a year or so ago and before she could finish dialing roadside assistance, she had a couple of country boys out with jacks ready to change the tire for her, they finished and drove off before she could thank them.
We still hold the door for ladies and wouldn’t ever let a woman pay. (yes, we are talking about younger people too, not just old folks raised when this was common). It may be a shock, but one of the most polite towns I’ve ever been to was pre-Katrina New Orleans.
I travel a lot and I actually believe the ‘lack of courtesy’ stereotyped across the country isn’t as bad as people think. The only place where people were overtly rude was Los Angeles. The people in New York City, for example, are generally very nice. I usually try to avoid all the touristy areas and when you get out where the locals are, they have the same level of courtesy you would find down here.
“Enlightened” Europe is one of the worst places I’ve been regarding courtesy. Prague wasn’t bad in Paris the people are down right rude to everyone, even each other.
That being said, it really isn't as it used to be in some demographics. There are rude, crude children, and adults swearing in public, which you never used to hear, and profane music being blasted in parking lots at stores. So, no, it's not like it used to be.
There are fewer gentlemen who will protest if other men swear around ladies (my husband, fortunately, is one of those who will politely remove his wife from such situations )but he's a vanishing breed.
I grew up in Auburn, AL and I raised my children in this tradition. The answer to your question is “yes” and “no.” We taught our children to say “Sir” and “Ma’am.” My son holds the door for his wife as his father before him does. My girls don’t quite understand how to wait for the men to get in position to do this. Hmmmm. There is still a deferment to older people but not quite as much as it was. It is not automatically assumed that an adult is correct, but issues of disagreement are attempted by many to be kept “within the family” and out of the public eye. It isn’t anybody else’s business.
Courtesy is very important.
LOL! True dat.
Same here in Texas.
You should see all the developements and new apartment blocks etc. Where the heck are all of those people coming from?
Bumper sticker seen here: “I’m not from Texas, but I got here just as fast as I could”.
I found it fading fast in northeast Mississippi.
The metropolitan areas are a mess, but the small towns generally still have all the charm, hospitality and friendliness you’d expect of the South; including the propriety between the younguns and their elders. As the cities have expanded all of it has or is starting to fade, as Swampsniper pointed out.
We in NC have “Damn Yankees.” and “G%D Damn Yankees”
Damn Yankees visit
G%D Yankees move here and try to change us into the hell hole they came from.
Short answer, yes, however,
Raised my son (for the most part) in Omaha NE, then moved to Branson, MO (pretty far south), My wife and I get compliments daily on his manners, (they are very good).
Having said that there are still some “punks” around here.
My point is geography doesn’t matter as much as who your neighbors are.
They are still very prominent and important for us Southerners. Unfortunately they are still very misunderstood by all the rest :0)
Exactly. Too many Yankees moving down South....But I haven’t me a Southerner who wouldn’t say Yes Ma’am ...No Ma’am. Good Manners survive but fewer people recognize them today. Some women get offended and are caught off guard if you call them Ma’am.... (It’s not your age..it’s just the way I was raised!)
My daughter will be raised to respect her elders, and to appreciate the southern charm.
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