O is for Obrigado
Obrigado means Thanks in Portuguese
I first heard this word in Zimbabwe when we were working with a street kid centre in Harare. A few of the kids were from Mozambique so we regularly heard Portuguese being spoken by them.
One of the things that amazed me was despite how tough life had been for them either at home or on the streets these kids were very well mannered, always thanking people whenever something was done for them. They could certainly have taught many others a lesson or two in good manners.
We are raising our boys to understand, like the kids from Mozambique, that good manners are essential for getting by in life, but sadly it seems we're amongst a dying breed of parents that still cling to the old adage "good manners cost nothing". I'm often appalled at the lack of manners exhibited by folk, especially when out for a drink or food. Sure the barman or waiter is just doing their job but the please and thank you go a long way to oiling the machine and improving the standard of service.
It costs nothing to say please or thank you and if some scruffy street urchin from Mozambique can manage it as a reflex action then there really is no excuse for the rest of us!
This post is part of a series in the Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2012.