Saturday, June 23, 2007
On Politeness and Good Manners
It will be accepted as a truism, that the heart should be educated as well as the mind and body. Good behavior, a pleasing carriage, civility, decent and respectful deportment, are the products of an educated heart. The cultivation of these traits, called, in a word, good manners, is a very important part in the education of every person of whatever call or rank in life. It may not be possible for every one to cultivate and expand the powers of his mind, but it is possible and requisite for every one who would associate with his fellow men, to learn and practice pleasing, affable manners. We believe it as much a duty to be genteel, courteous, gentlemanly or lady like , as it is to be honest or truthful. So it is as essential that our children and young people should be carefully instructed in the principles of good manners, as it is that they should be developed intellectually, or encouraged to become intelligent, to improve. A graceful bearing and pleasing ways are not picked up in a day; they are not assumed and thrown aside as occasion may demand, but come to us as the result of careful attention and long practice. Man has been made a social being. Whether he wishes it or not, he can not very well help associating with his fellow men. In these associations he may be agreeable, pleasant and amiable, or he may be disagreeable, rough, vulgar and unbearable. That ease and gracefulness of manner, arising from a desire to please others, giving careful attention to the wants of others, which make one pleasing, attractive and sometimes even lovable, may properly be termed.
From Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture; or, What to Do and How to Do It, by Prof. Walter R. Houghton, A. M., et al.