If we ask ourselves how mannerly we are? What would be your answer? It’s okay, don’t share it with me but, think about it.
A few days ago, my teacher spoke of a few words; Thanks, Sorry & Appreciate and that’s it. It was a big reminder for me.
Let’s start with Thank You.
I’ll start with myself, I don’t say Thank You as often as I should and the same is the case with most of us. Look around and hear to people, how many times you hear Thank You in conversations? Maybe, rarely. In fact, it’s the most under-used phrase on the planet. There are many situations we could say Thank you instead of saying things that we shouldn’t. And let’s talk about them.
We often receive compliments and ruin them almost all of the time by devaluing the statement or acting overly humble. Internally, we think this will prevent us from appearing arrogant or smug but it’s not like this. It is the opposite at times, by deflecting the praise of genuine compliment, we don’t acknowledge the person who was nice enough to say that. A simple reply of Thank You would fully acknowledge the person who made the compliment and would allow you the moment to enjoy as well.
This is very common: We’re often praised with “Your dress looks great.” and what we reply Instead? “Oh, it’s old! I’ve had it for years.” :/ What if we reply with “Thank you. I’m glad you like it.” or “You did a great presentation!”, And what we reply? “Did I? I felt so nervous up there. It wasn’t that great.” What if we reply with “Thank you. I’m happy it went well.”
Accepting a compliment empowers us and it’s natural. There is no need to destroy compliments that come our way. Accept them with grace and enjoy the moment.
Other situations where you can say Thank You
“Someone opens the door for you.”
“You are hosted at a dinner or a gathering.”
“Someone wait for you.”
“You receive a gift from someone.”
“Someone gives their seat to sit.”
“You receive guidance from someone.”
“Someone gives you a lift to drop you at your destination.”
There are many occasions where you could Thank someone and make them feel accomplished.
Saying Sorry is not easy but changes everything
As we grow older, we often start to notice things differently. We realise that what we were taught in the past, which we didn’t learn, especially in the subject of discipline or good manners, are vitally important. One of those lessons is apologising.
Saying Sorry is one of the most difficult words to use and I feel like it will change everything once we start using it. It will bring together long time friends, it will solve family issues, it will stop quarrels and unnecessary fights, it will stop breakups and eventually there would be peace and love even in the most heated situations.
I remember when we – siblings, used to have quarrels or arguments, there was no sorry afterwards. Because I would try to appear ‘strong’ and refuse to apologise. To me, not apologising meant being strong and powerful. For days, we would not talk and made the other feel that I’m strong and I will not apologise and that you should beg for an apology, even if I was wrong.
But as years passed, I had the opportunity to travel and live in diverse societies and cultures across my country and beyond. I got the chance to get a closer look of how people behave with their other social beings, how arguments and quarrels and fights and conflicts arise on such a base level. And got to learn lessons from the Holy Qur’an and the Ahadeeth. The conclusion was, “Apologising”!
I learned that saying Sorry could end up conflicts in seconds and solve long-term issues and change hatred into love in no time. Saving lives from doubts, hatreds, hostilities, loneliness, divorces, breakups and many more issues that could be solved with just a word of Sorry, even in a text or through someone or a call or face to face.
I know it’s difficult since we are not used to it or our ego does not let us apologise. But we can and we should try. I feel we must change the way we see an apology. Instead of believing it will make us weak and small, we should see it as an expression of strength, peace and forgiveness. A way of acknowledging that we are not perfect and that everyone makes mistakes. We are human and even the best of us makes mistakes. As the Hadeeth says:
‘كل ابن ادم خطاء، وخير الخطائين التوابو’
‘All children of Adam do wrong, but the best of them, are the repenters’
Repenters are those who feel remorse and ask for forgiveness. Islam emphasises repentance and forgiveness in many of its teachings.
‘Say, O my servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ [Qur’an: Chapter 39, Verse 53]
Another verse says:
‘Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you; pardon them therefore and ask pardon for them, and take counsel, with them in the affair: so when you have decided, then place your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves those who trust.’(3: Verse 159)
The concept of politeness is universal but its implementation and purpose differ from one culture to the other. To forgive is one thing and to apologise is another. I’ve realised that one does look up to the person who apologises for their mistakes. I’ve had fall-outs with friends and when they find it in them to apologise, it really changes the way I look at them. I value and respect them much more than I used to. There are a few experiences that I had in life regarding people which changed my mind surprisingly, that is
People Change! Their hearts Change! Their Behaviour Change! Their Decisions Change! They become your best friends or relatives, Just give them a chance, as ALLAH Subhanahu wa ta’ala gives us chances after all the sins we do!
The person who realises his mistakes and apologises is the bigger person simply because your mistakes don’t define you.
It is Politeness and Good manners that define people how good they are. It can make or break the person you are interacting directly or indirectly with. You will easily lose affection and respect from people if you do not display the right manners and treat others well.
Humility or remaining humble is an extremely important character. Islamic teachings emphasise the importance of humility and politeness as that is how you win the favour of people and the pleasure of Allah.
Politeness is a form of charity — an act of showing courtesy, respect or regard for others. Even a smile or saying ‘Assalamu Alaykom’ is considered a good deed.
So, Where will you start from?