Every day we interact with others in our day-to-day lives, just how effectively we do that determines our success within that society. Think of manners as being the oil that lubricates our daily lives and greases the wheels of our social interaction with others.
It's not about being elitist or snobbish, it's simply common sense because obviously the way we treat others and how they percieve us to be, influences both our friendships and our personal relationships.
The way we live has changed over the years and the lines are blurred so that more than ever before we need to know 'the guidelines', the 'rules of etiquette' for how to behave so that people like us and get on with us.
A loved ones dies: What do we do? How do we cope with divorce? What is the etiquette for a Chinese wedding? A Greek Orthodox baptism? How do we conduct ourselves at a more formal lunch or dinner?
A knowledge of basic etiquette gives us the confidence to socialise at every level and shows us how to make that important first impression a successful one.