7 Dimensions of Wellness

7 Dimensions of Wellness
7 Dimensions of Wellness

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Social Wellness: Mind Your Manners

Something is going onI've been pushed and shoved. I've given gifts with no thank you.  I've tried to get by to the other said even with an "excuse me", no one moves.  Where are you manners? What happened to saying hello and good-bye on a phone call? These are the basic things we still teach our toddlers.  My grandson can't get his favorite snack without saying please so why is it that adults think the rules don't apply to them?

What changed?  Being rude seems to be the way people deal with each other.  This isn't about online etiquette.  That has its own set of rules and standards. I'm talking about old school face to face interactions and being unbasied about who gets to receive your good manners. Oddly, nepotism and favoritism is involved.  We greet those we like or those who we think deserve our attention. We see politeness in the scope of networking and not just relationship building with another human being. I'm still trying to figure out where we went wrong.

How we relate to one another is important to our self-esteem and to our overall health.  The 7 Dimensions of Wellness includes Social Health. Social health is the ability to effectively relate to others.  Its important to our health that we nurture relationships and that we learn to connect and respond to people in a healthy way and basic etiquette is a beginning.  We impact others by the way we treat one another.  There's nothing wrong with saying "Hello!" or "Good Morning!" just because they are there. Why not? Let's try it.

I've had people bump into me, step on my foot,  and try to get by me and never say excuse me or I'm sorry.  I've given of my time, talents, and treasures with no thank you.  With all of this technology, we are so disconnected.  It doesn't serve us to be unkind to each other, ever.  I truly believe if you can't take the time to check your manners, your own ego and selfishness shows up.  You've made the situation about you and only you.  You're socially ill.  Rethink it and be nice.

The project manager for a grant we have told me he really appreciated that I always say to him, "I appreciate you!"  He stated he doesn't get to hear that too often. 

We take for granted the power of a simple gesture. We have to remember those things we learned as children.

Let's take a look at this.


All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.
These are the things I learned:
  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all - the whole world - had cookies and milk at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

[Source: "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum. See his web site at http://www.robertfulghum.com/ ]


Rhonda L. Bayless is the Executive Director/Founder of the Center of Wellness for Urban Women (CWUW) in Indianapolis and an HIV/AIDS advocate. Through addressing the intersection of race, class, and gender and other social determinants of health, Ms. Bayless works to empower women and their families to live healthier lives.

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