‘Man’ner Monday: Why Decorum?

by Mindy Lockard on February 7, 2011

As we look at the upcoming Valentine holiday, a day of love a day of mutual respect, I feel it’s only appropriate that we have a little chat about Dudes & Decorum. Some say that chivalry isn’t dead; it’s just on life support. If that’s the case I’m here, armed with my gracious living defibrillator, ready to bring some energy back to this long-lost gallantry!

Rather than giving up because we aren’t sure what to expect or how to react, let’s roll up our pant legs—men and women—and wade into these murky waters. It’s time to take a hard look at what it means to live among dudes with decorum.

Every Monday in the month of February will be called ‘Man’ner Monday where we will be chatting about all things dudes with decorum!

Week One: A Case for Decorum

Week Two and Three: Rules to Remember

Week Four: What to Dude: How Does an Independent Gracious Girl Respond

So let’s get started…

A Case for Decorum

Confused about what to dude?  Let’s break it down…


Before a dude can adopt a life of decorum, he should at least know the real reasons for taking the plunge. The answer can be found in the very definition.

The word decorum is defined by Merriam Webster as “propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance, orderliness or plural: the conventions of polite behavior.” Polite behavior is seen most in the manners and etiquette that we use in our daily lives. “Manners” come from the Latin root of the word “Manna’s” defined as “of the hand.” Polite behavior is simply how we handle others. To truly live a life of decorum is about desiring to handle others well!

What Decorum Is Not When encouraging men and boys to embrace a well-mannered life, we should remember to never present it as a punishment. By bringing decorum into ones life, we’re not asking people to change their interests or alter who they are, but to choose one behavior over another.  Contrary to what some might believe, all guys have the potential for gracious behavior.  It doesn’t mean they have to strap on a tutu.  It simply means they choose the respectful approach. Yes, dudes! You’re not a wuss or weak if you smile and are courteous to people. True story!

Why do you think Decorum is important?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Katie 02.08.11 at 5:36 pm

Mindy- I have been thinking about this post and your closing question since I read it yesterday. I’ve been thinking about it for two reasons. 1)since before I even had a son I have been thinking about raising gentlemen, not just boys.
2) an incident on Sunday really struck me that I think was quite full of decorum.
Though my son is only 4 he has been opening doors for us ladies (and anyone else within 20 ft of the door for that matter) for about 2 years. When he does this the sense of joy and pride that radiate from his little body are pretty unmistakeable, and the the smiles he puts on the faces of those he holds the door for and pretty radiant as well.
On Sunday we had people over to watch “the big game”. A friend of ours brought a friend we didn’t know (which was just fine) when they left the “new friend”(who is in his mid 30’s?) shook hands with all the guys, and then when coming to me, gave me the “cheek to cheek” goodbye/thank you. The only other man who has treated me that way is my husband’s Grandfather. Honestly I felt a little awkward at first because I was not sure what to do, but mostly I felt a sense of pride I guess. I felt very respected and for lack of a better word, appreciated. It made me think of how important decorum is to our society because I believe it promotes a general sense of well being and of lifting others up. Both of which, I believe we can really benefit from.

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