Etiquette for Everyone
New York (NAPS) – When Queen Mary was asked to name the most important subject in the education of a potential Monarch, she answered in one word “Manners!” Many a successful executive, homemaker and career girl would give the same answer if asked about his or her assets, but how do people develop the knack of saying and doing the right things?
Long a guide for etiquette, the noted author, Emily Post, said good manners come from the heart, and you’ll also recall, the Bible says of man, “As he thinketh in his heart, so he is.” Now it doesn’t necessarily mean you must undergo surgery for a heart transplant, in order to have a change of heart that makes you do and say what is right. But if you do care about people at work, or in a social situation, or even at home where all too often, unfortunately, the best foot forward is not put!... , you can learn the courteous thing to do and be kind. You can begin with five basic concerns: The senses!
In brief, if you are thoughtful about people’s five senses you will become more sensitive and perhaps in time a veritable sensation! Here are five sensible rules to remember;
• Eyes– Be easy on the eyes and dress (including cosmetics) in a “manner” that shows you care for another person’s viewpoint, literally.
• Ears– Is your voice shrill? Rough? Loud? Too soft? Speaking with a nicely modulated, melodious voice falls softly on the ears. Practice listening to yourself.
• Nose– Personal hygiene, as important for men as for women, makes you kind to another’s nose. You’ll be snifty if in addition to daily showers you are also thoughtful enough to use something such as Man-Power aerosol.
• Taste– You’ll taste better when kissed if, in addition to regular dental appointments, you also keep on hand a refreshing mouthwash to use at home and at work.
• Touch– A well-scrubbed skin made smooth and kept soft and moist with creams will keep you off the offensive fence, more fun off than on.
Once you have carried through on being kind to the five senses, you’ll find it fun to use all your own five to contemplate the different customs in various parts of the world. In Japan, for instance, etiquette demands you remove “walking” shoes on entering a temple. Slippers are worn inside and floors are kept spotless. In yet other parts of the world, it’s considered ill-mannered to use the same handkerchief twice!
In Europe, Amy Vanderbilt points out, it is quite proper to use a toothpick at dinner, with the table napkin held as a screen, but in America, one is supposed to remove themselves from the table, to dislodge the food. The American and Continental use of the knife and fork also vary. The American uses a knife only to cut with. In Europe, the knife can be used to pile food on the back of the fork and food is then transferred to the mouth with the left hand still holding the fork. Americans generally place their napkin in the lap, whereas in different regions of the world it’s proper to tuck the napkin in the collar. Americans are very quick to use first names, although Eastern and Southern communities are more conservative in this matter, but Europeans and especially Asians prefer introducing a relationship in a formal manner, with proper title and last name.
Etiquette, it’s true, involves not only the heart and the senses, but also protocol which must be learned with the head. But don’t be discouraged! If your heart is in the right place, and you’re sensitive, you can get the facts for your head out of books. This is true even if you don’t have to think, as Queen Mary did, about the most important subject in the education of a King or Queen. –Coronado Eagle and Journal, 1970
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia