I am still a young man. I cannot boast like some, of plenty times spent with the aged as my grandparents died long before I could claim to know them. But I have this strong dislike for lack of courtesy in young people.
I cannot count the number of times I have had to para* for the friends of my roommate in school for not knocking before entering the room. Who does that?
Who comes into my room opens my pot without permission and then asks for food? Who does that?
I do not intend to enter into the debate of whether our generation is gradually becoming a mannerless generation but I do know we are fast losing touch of common courtesy like saying “thank you”, and knocking the door and for us who by the pursuit of our purposes are in the people business, I think we must constantly remind ourselves of some of these timeless manners. They may be ancient, they are not obsolete.
So, I walked to the guy from whom I buy my books and got a copy of John Bridges’ How To Be A Gentleman. I understand there is a lady version of the book too.
I want to share some of the general issues of courtesy that I believe we need to remind ourselves of as we deal with people on a daily basis.
It’s a very short list, please feel free to tell us any other manners you think we as young people should not excuse for civilisation.
Please take note that for the purpose of this piece, the term “gentleman” refers to the pursuer of purpose whether male or female.
1. A gentleman never knowingly insults another person; neither does he revel in the embarrassment of others.
2. In making an apology, a gentleman does not downplay his error. Neither does he theatricalize it.
3. A gentleman knows that “please” and
“thank you” are still the magic words.
4. A gentleman never gets so big that he can feel free to say or do things that make other people feel small.
5. A gentleman always treats another person’s belongings with the most meticulous care.
6. A gentleman needs not flaunt his newest gadgets, no matter how expensive or cutting-edge they may be, in hope of impressing others with his social or professional status.
7. A gentleman feels at ease wherever he goes. He is confident that he knows how to behave in any situation.
I am not in any way suggesting we all go buy books on etiquette and courtesy and begin to cram the rules. I am only saying that we all need to learn to do unto others what we wish they do to us. That to me is the greatest key to courtesy and manners.
No insults, no fights. God’s people should be bighearted and courteous. Titus 3:2
* para: To be angry and make your grievances known
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