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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Thursday, August 19, 2010


It is true that "manners" is an archaic concept.
It is also true that satisfactory social intercourse
Is impossible without "good" manners.
Lack of same poisons the well of understanding.

Manners have to be taught to children by parents.
No other agency can transmit the idea
That good manners assure acceptance in
Any decent level of society, anywhere, anytime.

Good manners start with the dictum:
"Such things are simply not done!"
Which sounds elitist when heard for the first time,
Then becomes a search for what things are not to be done.

The objective is to avoid offending someone else,
Requiring effort to discern where that person is in life.
Absent tradition and conventions in our culture,
One is required to metaphorically "walk in his shoes."

"What will people say?" leads to self-preservation.
Simple answers prevent one from committing serious errors,
If you want people to have a good opinion of you,
And of your children, as a parent.

If, as a maverick or rebel, you don't care what people say,
Then you are doomed to be a reject or an outcast.
By conducting yourself in a "manner" which is acceptable,
You earn the approbation of family, friends, and strangers.

It is also true that the positions of "lady" and "gentleman"
Are extinct, but they can be imitated.
The highest compliment one can receive
Is to be referred to as one, simply by the way you conduct yourself.