Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave When First We Practice to Offend

"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Said best by Sir Walter Scott, a wise old chap, indeed.

Bless their hearts. They don't always know what they are doing, though, sometimes they do. Where are their manners? Where is their dignity? Do they even realize the value of their raisin'? I am an etiquette expert, examining and instructing on this is where I thrive, after all. Just as you are an expert in your field of medicine, education, or accounting, I am a manners guru. I know when people are offending others, thus, I am easily annoyed. It was a running joke in protocol school that etiquette experts shall not be offended, the second time. Why is this? It is much similar to a passer-by telling a lawyer who to defend in his practice. If that passer-by is not an attorney, where does he base his evidence? Let's not get too deep into whether or not that passer-by studied law as a hobby, etc. The fact of the matter is, as days go by, people are wandering farther and farther into a land called Nomanners. I do not prefer Nomanners. I visit it often as upon this, some of my work depends.

I see the people of Nomanners everywhere I go. On the sidewalk, in grocery stores, and in high-up positions, they lurk around as if entitled. Some of these Nomanners are excellent at fooling other people. They might be kind to one and mean to another. They are never the same person all the time. Many Nomanners fear me because I can often see right though them. When I tell them what I do, many say, "I don't like people like you." Of course not, because I instruct what they live to destruct. Other Nomanners are always bad, they are mean at work, at play, and even on their best day. Most all people, Nomanners and not, can see through these "pitifuls" as well. Nomanners creep about as they neglect to respond to emails, say a kind word on the phone, or bake cookies for their pitiful spouses. They often say too much and wind up getting themselves in to trouble. Their trouble might not come today, but eventually, it will creep back up on them. Some say this is, "What thou sew, that ye shall also reap." Nomanners know of this prediction, but they live as though it does not apply to them. Surely, not to a Nomanners, of course. These silly people cannot understand why they are nomads, many never will.

How often do I get calls, "Faith, what can I do about this problem at work?" "What is the appropriate thing to say?" "What is a personal gift for my in-laws?" "What should my dinner party menu be?" I love those calls and conversations. I sit back in my office and soak them up. Those high-esteemed "conversationers" are members of a calm and more sophisticated place called Politeness. The people of Politeness, among solid manners, understand one KEY difference between their land and Nomanners. They KNOW without a doubt people must always be on the lookout for the secrets of life. Politeners are sure in themselves, yet, not overly confident. They lead efficiently, strike while the iron is hot, and are the hunter, not the hunted. All the while, the citizens of Politeness are filled with glorious emotions. They saunter to numerous social occasions, have dinner parties, and RSVP for events. Politeners understand that they have to be both firm and gentle, the iron fist in the velvet glove. These gentle souls are known throughout Politeness as aspiring individuals. They find their way to the top by helping others and not giving up. Make no mistake that the people of Politeness prove a very slim group. They often search far and wide to find fellow town members. Once they do, they are not afraid to join up and be merry. Of course, they stop and ask for directions along the way. They even have a nickname, a low-maintenance friend.

You see, the unfortunate people of Nomanners appear to be stuck. Some might want to come over to Politeness, but they do not believe they can afford the trip. Time and time again the citizens of Politeness cannot make the Nomanners understand that they must change their unkempt ways. No matter how much the Politeners encourage the Nomanners with kindness, the majority of attempts fail. As nomad Nomanners never smile, have a pleasing phone voice, or send out handwritten notes, they neglect that which could easily pay for their trip. They scramble around thinking, "Humph...I'll show those hoity toity Politeners just how things are done." "I'll shun them without inclusion, rack them with gossip, and tell them their services are not needed." "Who cares if they can offer me a great deal, I'll never go over to Politeness." In reality, the Nomanners are miserable. They scoff at the please and thank-you constitution of Politeness. Why are they never asked to parties, offered gifts, or wanted in photographs? These are the self-loathing woes of the Nomanners, always ho-hum because they do not know their priorities.

While the Politeners live a life of contentment, happiness, and joy, they are resolute in their routine. They wake each day and find time to lend a helping hand. Politeners help others grow and hastily do so without hesitation. They pay well, although, not just with money. Their kind nature is a lasting contribution to the world. They do not hide behind a curtain of self-loathing. They are popular.

We all know citizens of Nomanners and Politeness, but which town are we in? An aspiring Politener once said, "There is a better way to be." Well, that's right.


  1. Very nice, very true and very sad at the same time. Citizens of Politennes should always be sure that even might difficult to belong, it is much better to live within the territory of politness, correctness and order... sadly most Nomanners don´t even realize their rudness... their selfishness. Courtesy comes from the certainty of others wellbeing. Self centered people don't realize that while colaborating in the wellbeing of others we asure our own. Best regards!

  2. Very well put Faith! I enjoy reading your blogs and how truthful you are with your words! I do believe the good Dr K could be Mayor of Politness! She has taught me so many ways over the years and I am grateful to her for that!!