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Good Manners and Right Conduct
* A Priority Subject in School

Submitted by :
Submitted to : Maria Consuelo L. Dimaya
(As a Final Requirement in English)

Introduction

First what is G.M.R.C. which stands for Good Manners and Right Conduct deals with lessons that contribute to character formation and wholesome personality development specifically, the development of health habits, moral and spiritual values, love of country, and concern for one’s fellowmen.

This learning area deals with the study of man’s relationship with God and neighbor: his role, duties and responsibilities, his freedom and limitations as an intelligent human being created by God and endowed with grace. It also deals with the growth and maturity in faith within a Christian community of Filipino followers of Christ striving for the realization of God’s kingdom.

Good manners form an important part of our civilization. We know a man form his manners. Manners are important for our conduct in the society. So, we put too much stress on learning manners. Parents want to teach manners to their children. Teachers want to teach manners to their pupils. Mentors want to teach manners to their disciples. Because manners are so important for us. We should obey our parents and elders. We should care for the old and the weak. We should be loving and kind to our youngsters.Every child is known by his behavior. People judge our children by observing manners of children. Manners are much more than just saying “please” and “thank you.” They are ways of showing kindness and consideration. At young age, it is easy to teach good manners.

Teenagers have a tendency to rebel against accepted practice because they realize that the social sense of what is appropriate and inappropriate practice is socially constructed and that nothing is taboo in and of themselves but is only taboo because society says so. Furthermore, they feel that this definition of what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate practice is an exercise of social domination, social power or social control and this realization leads to their active resistance.

The problem is that these teenagers are correct on all counts. The sense of what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate practice is socially constructed and they do constitute exercises in social domination (at the very least, the domination of the society over an individual, not necessarily the domination of a particular group or individual over other individuals).

The problem is compounded by the fact that the reason why we engage in certain practices and not others does not usually flow from any logic and society would not perish if the practices were changed but we engage in these practices anyway because we "know" that this is how things are done.

Good manners, for example, are simply based on social convention or are derived from some ancient historical practice that has no contemporary relevance. The handshake (which used to be a medieval symbol that knights were unarmed; that's why we shake with our right hands) or the tipping of one's hat (or a salute for that matter which replicates a knight's raising of his visor to show his face to an approaching knight) has no contemporary logic aside from the fact that these are how things are done.

Everytime we have formal academic gatherings at the University, the faculty are hard pressed to remember if the tassle on the cap should be on the left or on the right until a colleague said that in medieval times, left was the side of royalty.

It is good when there are such explanations (which often lead teenagers to ask if practices should change now that circumstances are different) but most people do not know these explanations and most practices do not have explanations. That is why when teenagers ask why certain practices are considered inappropriate and they unmask the fact that these standards have no logical basis, an exasperated adult might just end up saying...
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