by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979
Good morning, dear friends. Don’t worry, be happy!
Have been sitting here at my computer desk cleaning out cubbyholes to see what I can find to write about this week. It’s an awful feeling not to have any real news to share with you, especially after coming across an old yellowed clipping that I had saved with many names telling of who had been visiting who in those long ago times. Now-a-days, people prefer their privacy.
Anyway, my being old-fashioned, I feel that this modern world could benefit by reading the words of this old yellowed clipping (no date on it, or what newspaper printed it) called, Ten Commandments for Good Manners. It starts with, “Good manners is not a typical subject students study in school, yet it may well be the most important skill they can learn for getting a job and succeeding in life.”
For parents who feel that their kids need better manners, Larry Evans may be able to help. He has surveyed the good manners and traits of successful people from Confucius to Emerson to modern times, and distilled the essence into the Ten Commandments for Good Manners. The key to these principles is their simplicity, yet they deal with the most important aspects of life.
Thou shalt be thyself: (my modern computer would not accept the t instead of an L at first) Good manners begin with a good sense of self. Unless you are true to yourself, you can never be true to others. You are unique. Don’t try to shape your personality to meet circumstances. Be natural, and the world will respect you for what you are.
Thou shalt say “Thank You.” Thanking others is a way of praising them and is one of the keys to having good manners. Send thank-you notes whenever someone does something nice for you, or telephone to express your gratitude. This simple act will help build lasting relationships. When someone gives you a compliment, the best response is a simple “thank you.”
And don’t forget “Please,” “Excuse me,” and “You’re welcome,” which are other marks of good manners.
Thou shalt give compliments: A fundamental rule of good manners is to give. Think about what you can give to others, and remember that the most precious gifts cost nothing, When you meet someone, you can always think of a genuine compliment to give. A “Hello” or “How are You?” is not enough. You can also give your undivided attention and interest to others. You can be generous with words of praise, warm greetings, sympathy, love, or other good news.
Thou shalt not be boastful: Always exercise restraint and good taste. Your voice, your behavior and even your clothing should reflect understated elegance. Only a small person brags about accomplishments; a well-mannered person has no need for self-advertisement. Let your deeds speak for themselves.
Thou shalt listen before speaking: Respect for others is a pre-requisite of good manners. Listening to others is a way to show respect. There is no worse company than a person that does not listen. Be genuinely interested in others; learn their names, and encourage them to talk about themselves. Never interrupt. Look them in the eye, and listen carefully. The listener learns and gains.
Thou shalt speak with kindness: Before speaking to others, consider what effect your words will have. Pause and weigh your words carefully and say them with a quality of softness. A slip of the tongue can inflict needless hurt. Also, remember the language of the body ( your posture and your mannerisms) is as important as the language of words.
Thou shalt not criticize: A person with good manners is above criticizing others or complaining about circumstances. Negativity in any form is to be avoided. If you hear gossip, don’t join in, be indifferent to it.
If you disagree with others, do so respectfully. Don’t verbally attack or condemn them. You may win the argument, but lose a valued friend.
If there is room next week I will print more; but I’m hoping I’ll be deluged with real news.
Now for Percy’s memoir; it is an Irish Blessing: “May God grant you always… A sunbeam to warm you’ a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”
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- SOLON & BEYOND: Remembering Percy and his words of wisdom
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