readers of this booklet have witnessed, over the last three or four
decades, a precipitous decline in not only the practice of good manners,
but also the comprehension of
the need for good manners. Many
people bemoan the ever-increasing anger and violence of our
Socialist-afflicted society, and wonder aloud at the causes and cures for
such widespread discontent in a nation greatly blessed in natural
resources. It behooves us all
to recognize the importance that good manners play in the satisfaction and
enjoyment we all receive from the society in which we live.
concern for our conduct toward others is down, the assertion of our
Constitutional rights is up. There
is also a serious increase in negative political ads and the use of vulgar
language. We do business with
little thought for others. What
happened to the time when a man’s word was his bond and you could do
business on a handshake? Some
say civility is in a permanent state of change.
On the contrary, the basics stay the same indefinitely, and have
since the earliest times of recorded history.
is no argument for a return to a less advanced technology, but rather a
simple recognition of the many stresses present-day humans have to endure
that lead to poor attitudes and shortened tempers.
Indeed, a far more significant stress on interpersonal
relationships is the increase in population in this and most countries.
In the past, people sometimes went a long time without seeing other
humans, or were restricted to interacting with only a very few persons.
This scarcity of societal contact inherently increases the value of
other persons and inclines individuals towards appreciating others.
stark contrast to this is the all too frequent frustration of having other
people crowding our lives on the highways as we drive, on lakes as we boat
or sail, on city sidewalks, in restaurants and any number of other public
places. This crowding from so
many people (especially in cities) causes us to appreciate each other much
less, and consequently to relate to people in a less kind fashion.
It is these stresses, along with the general decline in societal
morals that has led to such things as “road rage” where rudeness goes
past the boundaries of crudity into the realm of unlawful acts.
we must first recognize the raw logic that demands the exercise of common
courtesy, and then move on to the art form that makes it more than a
perfunctory exercise. Good
manners are an essential ingredient in a healthy society because they
smooth relations with the people with whom we interact and prevent a host
of problems. More than this,
good manners make life more pleasant and enjoyable.
Such courtesies actually honor God by giving respect to that part
of His universe that was created in His image: humans.
When good manners are practiced sincerely, the respect that flows
outward creates self-respect, something the Socialists and others of their
kind try to generate through false and demeaning government-sponsored
programs and clichés.
manners have been a concern of the South and part of our culture since the
earliest times in America. In
the South, hospitality has always been a universal virtue.
The sharing of food, bed and other amenities, regardless of one’s
financial status, has been second nature to Southerners.
Southerners have been known to offer help and ask for nothing in
return, even turning down offers of payment for their help.
manners, every action done in the presence of company ought to be done
with some sign of respect for those that are present. The way people behave in polite society is related to how
they order their society. In
determining our actions, we would do well to consider the words of Robert
E. Lee, whom Winston Churchill once described as the greatest example of
manhood to ever come from America. Lee
said, “I am opposed to the theory of doing wrong that good may come of
it. I hold to the belief that you must act right whatever the
govern our behavior, and principles govern the consequences of our
behavior. If our values are
out of alignment with enduring principles, we will suffer the negative
consequences. It is our duty
to teach, promote and expect good manners from family, friends, and all
others. Otherwise, we will
continue down a path that will lead eventually to anarchy.
is the hope of all the people who contributed to this booklet that readers
will explore the principles and recommendations in this booklet and then
weave them into their lifestyle. This
will improve the personal, social and cultural quality of your own life
and the quality of the lives of the people with whom you interact.
Note: Individuals are freely given the right to make hard copies of
this booklet for distribution so long as this booklet is given away
freely. No money, services,
remuneration or other valuable consideration should ever be taken in
exchange for this booklet. Its
very purpose is to produce good effect, which will begin by the simple act
of giving this material away.