I shudder sometimes when I look at some of the youth of today with their lack of manners and their ‘snowflake’ attitude to life. I thank my lucky stars that I had good parenting and was so lucky to be educated at Cray Valley. I know most who attended will agree. Here is something I saw today which maybe every young person should read:


A young man went to seek an important position at a large printing company. He passed the initial interview and was going to meet the director for the final interview. The director saw his resume, it was excellent. And asked,’

“Have you received a scholarship for school?” The boy replied, “No”.
‘It was your father who paid for your studies? ” Yes.’ He replied.
‘Where does your father work? ‘ ‘My father is a Blacksmith’

The Director asked the young man to show him his hands.
The young man showed a pair of hands soft and perfect.
‘Have you ever helped your parents at their job? ‘
‘Never, my parents always wanted me to study and read more books. Besides, he can do the job better than me.

The director said:
‘I have got a request: When you go home today, go and wash the hands of your father and then come see me tomorrow morning.’

The young man felt his chance to get the job was high.

When he returned to his house he asked his father if he would allow him to wash his hands.

His father felt strange, happy, but with mixed feelings and showed his hands to his son. The young man washed his hands, little by little. It was the first time that he noticed his father’s hands were wrinkled and they had so many scars. Some bruises were so painful that his skin shuddered when he touched them.

This was the first time that the young man recognized what it meant for this pair of hands to work every day to be able to pay for his studies. The bruises on the hands were the price that his father paid for his education, his school activities and his future.

After cleaning his father’s hands the young man stood in silence and began to tidy and clean up the workshop. That night, father and son talked for a long time.

The next morning, the young man went to the office of the director.
The Director noticed the tears in the eyes of the young man when He asked him,

‘Can you tell me what you did and what you learned yesterday at your house?’
The boy replied: ‘I washed my father’s hands and when I finished I stayed and cleaned his workshop.’

‘Now I know what it is to appreciate and recognize that without my parents, I would not be who I am today. By helping my father I now realize how difficult and hard it is to do something on my own. I have come to appreciate the importance and the value of helping my family.

The director said, “This is what I look for in my people. I want to hire someone who can appreciate the help of others, a person who knows the hardship others go through to accomplish things, and a person who realizes that money is not his only goal in life”.

‘You are hired’.

A child that has been coddled, protected and given everything he or she wants, develops a mentality of “I have the right” and will always put himself or herself first, ignoring the efforts of parents, family and friends. If we are this type of protective parent are we really showing love or are we helping to destroy our children?

You can give your child their own room in a big house, good food, a computer, tablet, cell phone, and a big screen TV, but when you’re washing the floor or painting a wall, children need to experience that too.

After eating, have them wash the dishes with their brothers and sisters, let them fold laundry or cook with you, pull weeds or mow the lawn. You are not doing this because you are poor and can’t afford help. You are doing this because you love them and want them to understand certain things about life.

Children need to learn to appreciate the amount of effort it takes to do a job right. They need to experience the difficulties in life that people must overcome to be successful and they must learn about failure to be able to succeed.

Children must also learn how to work and play with others and that they will not always win, but they can always work harder to reach their goals. If they’ve done their best, then they can take pride in all the effort they put forth.

Life is about giving and serving and these qualities should be taught in our homes and in our schools.


About CVTHS Admin

Admin is Colin Cadle - colin@cvths.com

3 responses »

  1. smacksman says:

    I worked hard to put my children through public school and I don’t have a lot of money left now. Was it worth it? Hard to tell. They only have one education so how can you compare it? Are my sacrifices appreciated? To be honest, probably not. My ‘children’ are in their 40’s now but I do see in them some of the symptoms noted in the article above and that indicates that I have failed in some part.


  2. Neil Gent says:

    Interesting comment. I have recently posted about my current experiences working with groups of 16-18 year old school kids. As I wrote then, most of my experiences (though not all) are within a somewhat privileged area of the country and I’m sure that has some affect. My observation would be that manners as demonstrated by this age group are not so wildly different to the norm of my schooldays, with the important difference that they are adjusted to the general norm of today – in other words I don’t find any decline in manners to be particularly associated with an age group.

    One of my own pet hates in modern manners is the way in which somebody will push or reach past you saying “excuse me” if you are lucky, but almost never “excuse me please”. So, it is considered polite to demand to be excused to pass through and bad manners just to go ahead and do it, in my world good manners is a polite request. One of the many small examples of people ‘knowing their rights’ without any corresponding concept of ‘duty’ or the rights of others.

    I was discussing this last week with a teacher I work with, he is around 40. I asked him what was the general atmosphere in school and culture of manners like when he was at school, he thought it was very similar to today (he went to a State school near Lincoln), but perhaps today was a bit more aggressive. This particular school where he works has a strong culture of respect, students are expected to address all staff members (not just teachers) as ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’, to encourage this all staff members during the school day address each other in exactly the same way.

    When I thought hard about society and how it has changed I rested on two huge differences. Firstly, it was rare for mothers to be at work. Mothers were an at-home mum’s army, almost a beneficial mafia. Not much going on in the area around home which concerned kid’s activities passed them by, mis-behave or show rudeness to anybody and there was a strong chance of it getting back to them. Secondly, a large majority of adult men had seen military service, even before you took National Service into account. Many of our teachers had seen service, it was rare to see a policeman without a row of medal ribbons. This had an effect on expectations of behaviour, manners and general human inter-action.

    Having said all this, let’s not forget that we have just had a post about Mods and Rockers, a phenonema of our times!

    I would most certainly like to see a return to more gentle manners and greater politeness in human exchange (not least in politics!), but I would not wish to turn back the clock on women’s place in society or to re-introduce National Service; I also think it is possible to look back slightly through rose timted specs.

    I think that the story to which these comments are attached is absolutely wonderful and probably timeless.


    • Barry Jackson says:

      Hi Neil, I liked your thoughts on the changes that have occurred in the last 50 years. One of the aspects I’ve often put pen to paper about in our local press is the concept of ‘Human Rights’ an idea that gained momentum after the horrors of WW2 and of course played a part in some voters desire to leave the EU.

      I’m convinced that we should abolish the notion of ‘Human Rights’ and get everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, over say ten years of age to sign up to a ‘Human Responsibilities Charter’. Surely it is my responsibility not to kill or torture another human being, and not to live in hope that someone else might protect them? My responsibility, for instance, is not to litter my neighbourhood, and not a right to have a council that cleans up after me.

      Of course, some days we don’t exhibit our best side, and on those days we should all think along the lines that if at that moment in time we can not make things better we should at the very least not make things worse.


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