I am now going to have a good old rant about certain things I would expect to see in society, yet after so many years of etiquette, and everyone supposedly knowing right from wrong; I rarely see.
Manners are an age-old condition of the civilised mind, in order to have a system of behaviour which prevents human contact from sliding in to chaos. It's common sense really, but as we know, that, is not common.
Good manners, to me, is the sort that is about inner grace, it has nothing to do with where you put your soup spoons or whether you say "toilet" or "loo". Real manners are about considering other people. Certain formalities exists to smooth the path and give us guidelines, but at the end of the day the matter is very simple; well-mannered people are never rude to others, or hurtful, and never do anything that makes other people feel awkward or small.
|She blatantly did that on purpose.|
One occasion springs to mind where I was at a party in Dubai, a male guest had got the dress code wrong and turned up in turtleneck sweater (in that heat!) when everyone else was in suits. He was welcomed in by his host and introduced all around. Some ten minutes later the host reappeared- wearing a turtleneck sweater. Now thats what I call real manners, where the host wanted immediately to make the guest feel at home. I suppose to sum that up; hospitality is about making your guest feel at home, even if you wish they were.
|My mothers actual doormat.|
Bit more straight talking.
So while saying "please" and "thank you" matter up to a point, true manners, really graceful behaviour, means never being unkind, never doing or saying anything to make anyone else feel small. It involves putting others at ease all the time and considering their feelings.
This I feel has come to me with age and experience, it is something I constantly work on for myself and will continue to do for the rest of my life as I am far from perfect (my sarcasm is just too prevalent at times ;) ).
Buddhism helps as I feel it is the religion that enforces these manners as it's purpose is to help others and by doing so to cease to become selfish and to move on the way towards enlightenment. God is no longer in the centre, but instead your own actions towards yourself and others.
I could so do this as orange is totally my colour.
I am not much for what sometimes passes for manners in so-called sophisticated and socially elevated circles. I observe regularly at apparent smart dinners and parties the kind of rudeness I feel ashamed for. It isn't in my view, decent behaviour to blank people to whom you have been introduced several times but whom you deem to be somehow uninteresting or beneath you.
I remember being on holiday with a group of people and found myself always staying behind apologising for the rudeness and obnoxiousness of the group to the waiters, as they had clipped their fingers, shouted at them and treated them like they were way beneath them. In my view, when behaving in such a way; they are beneath the waiters.
Now, when it comes to punctuality, I often hear that I am always early, when I am actually just on time. It seems to have become an accepted norm to be late in our rushed lives.
Being late implies to me that the other persons time is of less value than your own. For meetings and in one's social life, I think it's important to turn up when you said you would, most particularly when it is a formal dinner and precise numbers matter. I did however turn up an hour late to meet a few friends one night in New York recently. And believe in me, the look on my friend's face made me never want to do it again. I felt utterly disrespectful and ashamed that they had been sitting there waiting for me.
|Unless its one of these excuses, I don't want to hear about it.|
For all the above, or rather the lack thereof, I do much blame the greedy celeb culture, where people will disrespect and abuse anyone to make themselves look better and feel better. Manners and politeness has long gone out of the window.
Society needs to face up to this disintegration of society in some quarters. We need to stamp out the insecure society that feeds off corruption and wealth and put greed back in it's box.
Today like every other day 30,000 children around the globe have died from lack of clean water, food and medicines. A sense of perspective and a global outlook of those not as fortunate as ourselves needs to be understood to temper human weaknesses. We need to be taking care of our elderly relatives (and this is coming from a Swede!) We need to concentrate on getting to know our neighbours. We need to wind down demands for more money and more material goods (a Loubi here and there though, is totally ok...;) ) Understandably this isn't easy when our TV's, newspapers, glossy magazines and the Internet (and my blog) are filled with the urging to get rich quickly through short cuts of appearing in reality TV-shows, the X-Factor and the other hundred shows and brands. We greedily seek acceptance and love from a society that is so totally shallow and obsessed with wealth and exterior. So much that we often forget what really matters in life.
|I say nothing.|
To sum up, living in a society where money and status rules I do feel that we ought to put more weight on how we treat each other. Where the cleaner is worthy the conversation as much as the director.
Peace out x