Morality and manners: When to choose what?
By Vaidehi Gupta and Vishabh Gola(22/06/2020 19:30IST)
Morality and manners: It's very uncommon for the general audience to mistake one for the other! To delve into this topic more deeply, we will have to take a bird's eye view into the meanings of both.
While Morality is the moral code of an individual, manners are typically a set of unwritten rules that are to be allegedly followed by one. Our morals may or may not tell us to do something to offend someone, but the manners unmitigatedly try to prevent that action.
Discussing the aspects of inculcating both morals and manners in students, we can conclude a few pointers as to which trait should be given more priority in certain situations:
Besides being taught mannerisms on how to behave while tackling certain social norms, children should be taught to judge these situations morally and behave accordingly! Having their own perspective about things rather than following other's examples as precedents is always an upper hand in students' holistic development!
"Never lie. The truth will be out" is probably the most endured moral lecture a child has to endure, either while sitting in a closed-wall classroom or while abiding in the confines of his beloved abode. But, all in all, as they grow up, they automatically subside it and act according to the manners they were taught! Keeping this in mind, a child should be taught to strengthen his manners above morals in this case.
Although we keep this holy aspect of our lives embedded in moral realms, we are inevitably taught to convert it to strict mannerisms. This God-fearing attitude needs to change. We need to teach the new generation that atheism is not a necessary manner-that one has to strictly follow-but only a matter of our own individual morals and that all sects of believers in God -atheist, theist and agnostic- hold the same status quo in the society.
Abiding in rich lofty lifestyles, we, the educated Indians, seldom come to know the true meaning of "compromise". This turns out to be true for the other 1/3rd Indian population too, for whom, the compromises they make usually turn out to be the tortures they have to endure. While, compromise generally tends to a hefty downfall in morals, we should try and prevent our mannerisms from leaving the solid grounds.
Recognizing Mahatma Gandhi as the "father of the nation", meant cognitively knowing "ahimsa parmo dharma" (Non-violence is the supreme belief) from a very young age for us all. In moods of sudden anger and pent-up frustrations, people in general and juveniles in particular are widely known to let loose of their morals and give into their luring temptations! Here, they should be strongly advised to follow their manners and remember the reason why they were taught those morals in the first place!
It wouldn't be unsafe to assume that almost every Indian family has made their child imbibe this particular moral from his minor years but why is it that they still face abuse and verbal conflict from every second person that passes them on the road? What generally goes wrong in the application is, the children only respect people who they think are worthy enough, according to their own standards of morale. What these young learners, need to be taught is to act according to their manners and respect every being equally and without any discrimination!
In terms of expressing gratitude and uttering a simple "thank you", we leave the children to take their own grounds and address these situations based on their moral intellectual. However,
What should be done is the exact opposite! Juveniles should be exposed to mannerisms which hold Gratitude as their core material. Expressing thanks should not be deemed as a choice, it should be a strict priority for the people of this new generation. This helps both the society and the individual, to grow healthily, side by side!
"A person's conscience is the only thing which doesn't abide by the majority rule"
- To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
In the exact same way, neither morality nor manner is totally absolute, but it is important for the adolescents to know which should hold the torch when the lights get low!
- Peronal observations and analysis