Nasty, Brutish & Short

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Manners... it's not how you behave, but why

June 8, 2007 09:06 AM

From Giles Fraser:

What is needed today is a reformation of manners, a concerted effort to re-think our p’s and q’s, so that they are founded on respect for others rather than on a self-interested expression of social class.

As the wise and kindly Henry Higgins put it in Pygmalion: “The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.”

At their best, manners are the training and practice of loving your neighbour as yourself. They take this fundamental principle, and cut it up into millions of minute social interactions: “Please,” “Thank you,” “Would you like this seat?” “Is my music too loud?” and so on.

HT: Stand Firm