Tuesday, May 1

Not So Common Courtesy

Even as this article is being written, there is a cell phone ringing in church or in a library. Someone is probably talking with their mouth full or chewing gum while they take your food order.

In our fast paced world it is easy to forget some of the common courtesies that should be basic and non-negotiable. Unfortunately many people appear to have forgotten the manners that were taught to them by their parents and grandparents and sadly, others do not appear to have ever been taught any manners at all.

As a five year old young lady, my mother carved a passion for poise and confidence into me. She exemplified a lady. Attending a Physical Culture Academy in Sydney, Australia, it was not long before I grew an appetite for poise and confidence. As a group of aspiring young ladies, we worked hard at learning how to sit, stand, and walk with grace and ease. Our posture was corrected and our manners were polished. From there, I have continued to study and grow a passion for style and etiquette.

The Bible teaches us in Titus 2:5 “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” How often has thoughtless indiscretion caused great hurt to others? Being thoughtful of people and our surroundings is a Biblical principle.

It is not hard to behave in a socially correct way; however, the masses seem to think that having a bit of decorum is "old fashioned" or "boring". Obviously, this is not true. If people would take a few moments to review the basic rules of good etiquette, they would find it to be most helpful for their personal lives and in their business relationships as well.

Outlined below are protocols that will help to refine the social graces and improve the impression that others have of you.

Basic Politeness
Showing politeness is not difficult. It is simple to say "please", "thank you", "you are welcome", and "excuse me". These phrases show that a person is considerate of others. If someone is rude and they are not your favorite person, it is better to be polite to them rather than sinking to their level.
Men, Remove Your Hat Indoors
Most young men of today do not seem to be aware of the fact that it is considered rude to wear a hat (mostly ball caps these days) indoors. Gentlemen, when you enter a building, please remove hats and caps.
Hold That Door
This is a rule that does not just apply to men anymore. Yes, men should still hold the door for ladies and allow them to enter or exit first, but ladies are not exempt from holding the door for their elders or someone who might have their hands full. And while it might seem an outdated notion, nothing says "gentleman" like going around to the passenger side to open the car door for a lady.
Be On Time
There is nothing worse than to be kept waiting and if you are the offending party who is late, it is just rude. If you tend to always run late set your clocks 10 or 15 minutes ahead, so you will arrive on time.
Do Not Groom Yourself in Public
If you have something that needs picking, scratching, combing, or any other form of grooming, please do not do it in mixed company. Take your personal needs to the restroom or wait until you get home. Ladies, it is not etiquette to quickly apply a little lipstick in public. It is not okay to pull out a compact and a suitcase full of cosmetics and start redoing your face at the table in a restaurant. Also, please refrain from clipping and filing your nails in public. This is crude.
Keep Gum Chewing To a Minimum
If you must chew gum for a legitimate reason such as having bad breath or dry mouth, try to do it in your car between stops. If it is absolutely necessary to chew gum in a public place, please do not smack it, chomp it, or blow bubbles with it.
Turn the Ringer Off
When entering any public establishment the first thing you should do is set your cell phone to vibrate. Remember you do not have to answer every call, that is what voice mail is for. If you know that it is a call of importance, excuse yourself and move to the lobby or another room to take the call. Keep the call time short and let your caller know that you will return their call at your earliest convenience.
Keep the Conversation Polite
When engaging in conversation, whether it is at work, or in a more social setting, never bring up money, religion, or politics. These subjects are a powder keg waiting to explode. On the subject of exploding, please refrain from speaking loudly, yelling, or using profanity.
Simply put, good manners are a sign that you have consideration for others and extending these common courtesies shows that you have respect.
Yes, manners do count!
In finishing, this statement penned by Ronald Regan, is one that has inspired me - "I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.
God thinks we are worth the investment, and so do I!

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