Bushcraft, Nature and Manners, Does It Really Matter?
You may read the title, “Bushcraft, Nature and Manners, Does It Really Matter?” and think it is not relevant and some parents believe it isn’t a necessity in society today at all. I couldn’t disagree more, not only is it relevant for children involved in bushcraft and nature it is also essential in everyday life for both young and old people. Personally I cant stand hearing older people call young people disrespectful and bad mannered one minute, yet treat the young with the same disrespect and bad manners they don’t like. We all need to show the people around us a certain amount of good manners, if not where will it all end. Probably with no one having any manners and respect for anyone and everyone fighting for what they want.
Nature and bushcraft in my opinion are things that we need to start teaching our children about at an early age. Not just so they can learn new skills and have fun, but so they learn to respect the world around them. I have seen children throwing litter on the floor snapping young trees or damaging the things nature as that animals and plants may find of use. If challenged they react in various ways, from shouting abuse the running away, looking as if you have landed recently from planet Mars or parents will step in saying they are doing no harm to anyone.
Children shouldn’t reach this point, if parents led by example and explained what harm can be done to our environment at an early age it would be a good start. However this is a wider problem children are often told by parents manners aren’t necessary, there is no need to say please or thank you. Ask people to take hats off indoors and parents will often think you got off the same bus the children earlier thought you had got off from Mars. Here are a few manners I was taught, I am sure you can think of many more.
Manners and Respect
- Always say, please and thank you.
- Don’t speak when other people are speaking.
- Don’t wear hats indoors.
- Don’t eat with your mouth full.
- Saying pardon or excuse me at appropriate times.
- Saying pardon when you don’t hear someone. Pardon seems to have translated in English to “What!”or “Eh!”
- Holding doors open for people.
- Giving up your seat for elderly people, pregnant women etc.
Using these manners doesn’t make you special or mean you should get special praise, it shows you respect other people and their position or situation. As children get older I have noticed those who had it instilled into them at an early age to show manners get along better in the work place and life in general. I like to think this is because they respect what is around them. People see it as a quality in people and is often rewarded with responsibilities not given to the ill mannered
The same goes for nature, people who are taught that manners and respect are important in life also learn to respect the world around them and are open to learn why we should respect nature and the world around us. It all starts with education. I spend a lot of time encouraging young people to understand why they should use manners and show respect. If they cant respect the person next to them I certainly wont trust them to learn to use tools such as knives.
Having manners is important for all ages and people of all parts of society.
The only way to teach them is by example. That is from parents, teachers, youth leaders and every one they meet in society. We all have a part to play in the future of our children and shouldn’t be too keen to criticise if we aren’t willing to live by the same standards.