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Last Updated: Friday, 15 August, 2003, 03:25 GMT 04:25 UK
Pleasant aim of Good Manners Day
Harry Enfield's Old Gits
Widespread grumpiness prompted Good Manners Day
A polite request for Britons to be that little bit nicer to one another is being made as part of the first ever 'National Good Manners Day' on Friday.

Organiser Mark O'Dowd hopes the event will encourage people to treat each other with more respect and greater kindness.

The Glasgow lawyer says he came up with the idea after dealing with bad manners on a daily basis.

"Whether in the workplace, in the car, in the shops, on holiday, or at school, there seems to be an increasing disrespect for people," he said.

"Retaining good manners is one step to ensuring we try to regain normal civility."

'Worth defending'

Mr O'Dowd pushed ahead with his plans to tackle the spread of grumpiness after discovering that friends and colleagues shared many of his concerns.

He is appealing to people to be more thoughtful, if only for one day, and to think about the three most important things they could do to improve manners in the UK.

"Good manners are worth defending," Mr O'Dowd says.

"They cost nothing to give or receive yet they have the power to shape your day, impacting on your general well-being and mood, whatever the situation."

'Not just children'

Fellow organiser Margaret Sheehan said that many parents want schools to place greater emphasis on good manners.

But thoughtlessness is not restricted to children, she added.

Everybody needs to consider other people's feelings, especially now that email is so widely used, Ms Sheehan said.

"The difference between a good and bad mannered message can mean the difference between a cheerful and grumpy person, a good or bad day.

"Initiatives like National Good Manners Day remind us that it does not cost anything to exercise good manners, but the benefits are great to us and those around us."

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