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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Needed: Good Manners

In the quest for good manners, I am not interested in the correct way to hold a tea cup. I am not interested in formalism here anymore than I am in speech elocution. As a good speech ultimately derives from an earnest desire to connect and communicate, good manners seek to communicate respect and goodwill to others. Good manners have nothing to do with “political correctness” in which censorship and hypocrisy are substituted for simplicity and truth. Good manners allow one to disagree without being sarcastic and vindictive. Good manners are not a cold dress code one puts on, but courteous expression in intimate fidelity with one’s ethical convictions. They are not laced with profanity and ad hominem substitutes for humble, simple and direct communication. Any arguments buttressed with abusive pejoratives are suspect from the get-go—so essentially weak as to be desperately in need of tag-team relief from verbal thugs.

Now I do not write the above as someone not needing to heed my own advice. Like others I have substituted 4-letter bravado for a sweet spirit and humble examination. When the fall back force of one’s argument is bluster and obscene fulmination, one deserves to lose.

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