|Society is not necessarily too formal or too "showy." Society implies also that society of fellow-men you meet every day of the year -- people you come into contact with in the social and business worlds.|
What Manners Will Do For You
Every day you come into contact with people, with strangers, who judge you by what you do and say. They go away carrying an impression of you--and it depends upon your manners whether it is a good impression or a bad impression.
It is a mistake to think that good manners are meant for the elaborate ball room or for the formal dinner. Society is not necessarily too formal or too "showy." Society implies also that society of fellow-men you meet every day of the year--people you come into contact with in the social and business worlds. And in order to make contact with these people agreeable and pleasant, in order to win the admiration and respect of strangers, in order to avoid embarrassment and humiliation because of bad blunders at most conspicuous moments, it is essential to know what is right and what is wrong.
Good manners will enable you to be easy and graceful at all times. You will be able to mingle with the most cultured people and be perfectly at ease. You will lose all self-consciousness, all timidity. And instead you will become dignified, well-poised, calm. Instinctively people will respect you; in business and in society you will find yourself welcomed and admired.
Etiquette is like the binding of a book -- just as the binding reveals the name of the book, and protects the valuable pages that are inside, so does etiquette reveal the breeding and culture of an individual, and protects him from the disrespect, ridicule and snubs of the world.
Etiquette will make you dignified. It will make your actions and speech refined, polished, impressive. It will make you a leader instead of a follower, a participant instead of a looker-on. It will open the doors of the highest society to you, make you immune to all embarrassment, enable you to conduct yourself with ease and confidence at all times, under all circumstances.
The rewards of etiquette are too numerous to recount. If you follow the laws of good conduct, if you do only what is right and in good form, you will find yourself an acknowledged leader, an acknowledged success, no matter in what station of life you may be. The world is quick to perceive good manners, just as it is quick to perceive the blunders in etiquette. If you study the rules of good conduct, and follow good form in everything you do and say, you will become courteous and kind and well-mannered. Etiquette will attract people to you, make you and your home a center of social activity. But most of all, it will make you respect yourself. And that is more important than riches or fame--for self-respect is the only thing that brings true happiness.
Remember the words of the prophet, "He who respects himself will earn the respect of all the world."
From Lillian Eichler's 1921, "Book of Etiquette"