Manners: Why?

Read more on this subject: Self-Help: Rational Living
Feature Article by Paul Rosenberg
Manners begin with an acknowledgement that we live in a tough world, and sometimes a tragic world. We teach and display manners to help each other through it. There have been many mis-uses of manners, and we'll deal with those in a moment, but this much – helping each other through a difficult world – is the proper base of manners.

Think of how much in this world thrives on the abuse of human vulnerabilities. The vast bulk of public discourse, in our time, uses human soft spots as tools of commerce, tools of persuasion and tools of manipulation. All of that is, in the proper sense, bad manners.

A couple of centuries ago, Europeans (including the British) would refuse to take advantage of such things, simply because "it was not proper for a gentleman," or for a lady. Those were manners, far more than style of clothing of speech: It was "conduct becoming a gentleman," and so on… and it did make the world a better place.

Manners As An
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