Updated: Jan 15
Home~Where The Soul Longs To Be
General transcript to podcast, with some variations
Thy Shall Not…Steal, Lie (or any of the other sins) Compared to the 7 Virtues/Graces
Social Graces are the elixir that lubricates and beautifies our social structure. So, what happened to good old fashion manners? You don’t have to be rich or elite to show common courtesy, class and sophistication. I find it a very welcomed surprise with increasing rarity when someone displays courtesy, manners, and genuine social pleasantness. This is particularly so when it is done from a place of intention to bring beauty and harmony into our world.
By definition Common Sense is “the ability to behave and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decision.”- Merriam-Webster Dictionary. By its very nature and using the word “common” we assume it is something most people use. But how often have you heard the saying “there is nothing common about common sense?” because too often we see “Oh No Moments” of people doing things that make no, well, sense like rudeness.
Manners go hand in hand with common sense because it is meant to create harmony among human beings using our brains and hearts. You will note that throughout my work I will purposely use the words “common sense” very often associated with manners. That is because the two are intertwined and if you have one, you will likely have the other.
There is no excuse or room for rudeness in a world of 7 Billion people and counting. There is something that can transcend age, race, income, geography, gender and all social strata and that is GOOD MANNERS. But rudeness and lack of manners do exist. The simplest of acts and words can make the difference between a joyful world and a miserable existence. “Thank you”, “Excuse Me”, “Pardon”, “May I”, or nodding in acknowledgement if you can’t speak are a few examples and can avoid ”Oh No Moments”. Some will insist that manners are associated with age or some above named artifact but I insist it is not and they ought to be expected from all around if we are to have a social world with order.
What are Manners, Etiquette, Social Graces and Why Manners Matter
Before I continue on why manners matter, let’s do some defining. We defined common sense above but what do I mean by Etiquette, Merriam-Webster defines it as “The conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life.” It defines manners as “characteristic or customary mode of acting [behaving]. For the sake of simplicity,
I will use manners to cover good manners which I refer to as proper, graceful behavior with poise, using common sense and appropriate for specific social and environmental contexts. For “Oh No You Didn’t”, manners will be used as the umbrella under which good manners, etiquette, social graces, and common sense are being used.
To clarify, this work is not about outdated etiquette rituals but about common sense social behavior to increase harmony and decrease negativity and violence in all forms.
So we have to ask, why do manners matter? With a planet so full of people animals and things, we are simply going to self-destruct should we not find a way to communicate in a way that makes our global society actually efficient, smooth and pleasant. Using manners is the way.
How many times have you witnessed someone doing something so dumb that you said to yourself, “oh no you didn’t!” It happens all the time, everywhere we have humans. The more people in a city or town, the more we need order. In general, we are pretty good getting around so many people, things and obstacles. But then we get into auto-mode and sometimes auto-mode is equivalent to zombie mode.
We are losing (or have lost mindfulness and awareness of ourselves in our surroundings. By doing that we are increasing the chance of accidents, collisions and unpleasant interactions with our environment. Now think about not just you but another person losing awareness and increasing the chance of an accident and unpleasant interaction. Go one step further, think hundreds, no thousands of others in the same mode. That is what we call chaos. Chaos in a city, town, or public place is trouble.
If you are in this world, you are likely connected somehow socially. Because we have more access to information and the world is more populated than ever, we are seeing more and more incidents that range from slightly unpleasant to violent and deadly. Many of these CAN be avoided. Granted, there are people who are trouble makers and will always find a way to create havoc. However, I have seen over and over again people being chronically careless and for instance, bump into a mentally disturbed person because they were checking their mobile device and those innocent accidents turn in to the disturbed persons becoming fully violent against the unaware person.
We communicate in many ways. We do it verbally, with body language, eye contact, via technology and even mentally. Whether we are meeting someone for the first time or a long time friend, being self-aware goes a long way in improving your life and theirs. When meeting someone we create what is termed as a first impression. It takes seconds to make a full analysis of that person using social shortcuts called heuristics.
Sometimes you instantly like a person or equally so, really dislike someone. How you react says so much about you. The ideal is to have integrity and still stay true to yourself while incorporating a good combination of honesty and compassion. Being aware and using manners empowers you. You not only avoid un-pleasantries but you actually create your own energy. One of control, knowing and peace.
Why is there so much rudeness and bad manners out there?
You may be wondering why do we as humans behave so rudely and do such dumb things. Human behavior is truly complex. We are capable of spectacularly wonderful feats as well as disastrous creations. We can ask Psychologists, Anthropologists, Sociologists, any -ologists and they won’t have a full answer as to why we do the things we do. You can step in the spiritual realm and we, in combination to traditional studies can get us a little closer to understanding. In the case of rudeness and lack of manners we can speculate according to what we know about our behaviors.
These are some reasons for rudeness and bad manners:
Frustration with self and/or others
A perceived sense of superiority because of intelligence, socio-economic status or other classification
Perceived lack of control
To gain power over, another person, animal or situation
Lack of insight and foresight
Enjoyment of hurting others
By error due to being in a hurry or misunderstanding a situation
Feeling there are no repercussions to rude behavior
Thinking that being rude is a personality strength (and kind people are weak).
Confusing rudeness with honesty
Confusing rudeness with humor
When to hold them and when to fold them
Bad manners and rude behaviors have two important components at work. One is the behavior of the rude person. The other is the recipient(s) of the rude behavior. We can only control ourselves in either case. On the side of the source of rudeness, if the rude person learns and understands that what they are doing is hurtful, has consequences to others and themselves and is of no value whatsoever. Then there is hope change for the better can happen. On the side of the recipient, if one has the will to ignore, overlook and get passed it, then that person can have peace of mind.
Others many choose to try to correct the rude source. This is tricky business as you will see throughout. It takes common sense and instinct to know when to confront the source. There are many dangerous, and/or ill people who are just looking for an excuse to explode violently and confronting them may very will be that trigger. There are “Oh no moments” here I would not suggest anyone replicate. It just so happened the way they did. However, there are indeed times we need to let others know they’re behavior is unacceptable. This can be done in various ways.
postings (e.g. No spitting, Loitering)
Constant reminders (via social media messages), personal, carefully done talks and coaching.
Penalties depending on the behavior via fines and with violence legal action.
Informing in the moment (again common sense and intuition must be used).
We want freedom, we want control, we just want. When we don’t get what we want, we get frustrated and lash out (though some lash inward too). Rudeness is one of the ways we lash out at others. Aside from just not knowing traditional cultural etiquette, we are speaking of everyday behaviors that are rude, mean, mindless, careless that can and often do lead to more harm than good.
For the sake of clarity I have organized this piece by some common categories, then you will see Oh No Moments of some of the actual behaviors according to real observations and experiences. Next you will see possible specific reasons the incident happened in each case and actual along with possible different outcomes that could have occurred to each one.
Thy Shall Not Steal--back to the sins and virtues
I have placed this here because much of that underlies our behavior comes from perceived lack of abundance, insecurity, and greed. So sealing becomes what many resort to. Stealing comes in various ways. As you read this book and all I do you will very well see the theme of taking what isn’t yours or having taken from you. One of the Ten Commandments puts this out as a rule for society. Regardless of the source, it makes good sense, common sense.
For instance Stealing:
Ideas in the form of plagiarism, creative ideas, style (different from imitation as flattery).
Other people’s friends and social circle
Another person’s romantic partner
A job/position/event location from someone else
Some else’s animal companion
Identity (see chapter on cyber crimes)
Items, possessions of any kind
In summary, virtues cure vices.
Civil behavior in the words of George Washington
Though some of these may seem outdated, some of these behavior are classic and should endure time and space.
* Every action done in company ought to be with some sign of respect to those that are present.
* Do not speak badly of those who are absent.
* When in superior company, speak not until you are asked a question.
* Speak not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not on when others stop.
* Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another.
* Do not overtly value your own accomplishments.
* When you speak, be concise.
* Submit your ideas with humility.
* If you are corrected, take it without argument. If you were wrongly judged, correct it later.
* Do not be hasty in believing disparaging reports about others.
* Associate yourself with men [woman] of good quality if you esteem your own reputation.
* It is better to be alone than in bad company.
* Do not reprehend others when it is not your place to do so.
* Do not be curious about the affairs of others.
* Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
Note: My HUGE pet peeve is when others ask you have experienced something first hand in order to understand it. The answer is it depends. You don’t always have to experience something in order to have the common sense, insight and compassion associated with an experience. Oh No Moment 1, are you a parent, 2. have you ever been this type of victim, 3. have you ever been in this place, 4. have you ever been an addict
Regarding organization add locations-venues-places public vs private
I have something that trumps all those excuses. If you have a mind, a heart and a spirit, and use common sense, you don’t have to be in that exact position to behave reasonably? Human behavior is truly complex. We can ask Psychologists, Anthropologists, Sociologists, any -logists and they won’t have a full answer. You can step in the spiritual realm and we, in combination to traditional studies can come a little closer.
Wishing You Wholeness