From the Archives: The Importance of Manners

This week, August 12-16, I’ll be standing trial for fraud in Florida, and thus unable to bring you new words each day. In the meantime, please enjoy reposts of some of my best work. I’ll return Monday after these absurd charges have been rebuffed. Please do not hesitate to send me money in any amount, and it will help you more than it does me, and it shouldn’t need to be restated that the greater the amount, the greater the help to you will be.

Listen to Post  Power Words – July 22nd

Saying please and thank you. Letting others off of the elevator first. Waiting to eat until all at our table have been served. These are examples of manners.IMG_4406

  In our culture, manners are a social contract we honor so that we can demonstrate to others that we respect them, and want to treat them with courtesy. It feels good to treat our fellows this way, and to be treated so in return.

  Respect, however, is like the spiritual journey we’re all on: a two way street. We do our best to treat others the right way, but not everyone will honor the contract like we do. Like any other contract, the manners contract can be broken.

  When this happens, we need to focus on maintaining respect for ourselves. In order to do this, sometimes, we have to put away our manners. We can put them in our pocket. They’ll be safe there.

  When a person treats us rudely, when they figuratively wipe barbecue sauce from their mouth onto our sleeve, we must respond in kind. In these cases, it is okay for us to tell that rude person that they are a moron, a pig, or to suggest, eloquently, “Why don’t you go eat a bowl of fuck. They’re in the fridge. Help yourself.” It should be noted that physical violence should always be avoided. However, this isn’t always avoidable. As Shakespeare wrote in his most famous play, “Beware of entrance into a quarrel, but being in, Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.” In modern terms, this means it is okay to beat up someone who challenges you.

Power Words:

Today I will shoot beams of kindness and respect to the world, but when they aren’t bounced back, I will not hesitate to put fools in their place.

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