Rule 22. Don’t Forget Manners.
Manners Are About Intimacy, Not Forks.
Manners are About Respect and Kindness
Manners and etiquette go back to the days of chivalry. Remember King Arthur’s Court? King Arthur decided that he and his knights would sit at a round table as an expression of respect for each other. King Arthur and his knights resolved to set a standard of behavior. Knights were expected to be gallant, honorable, generous, and courteous. Valor, bravery, honesty, protecting the weak, and treating foes benevolently were valued. The ideal knight was known by his gracious courtesy and high-minded consideration, especially toward women. Chivalrous and courtly manners allowed people to get to know each other better, romance each other, and be kind to one another.
Manners are indeed about being kind and not about forks. They are about creating intimacy. Not the stuff of sex, but the stuff that makes you care for and respect someone, whether he be a parent, child, friend, or lover.
What does this have to do with today’s families? Lots, because children imitate the way men and women behave with each other. The let-it-all-hang-out mode of expression has become the name of the game, and it’s regrettable. Today, language is often crude, behavior seems to have little form, and rituals may have become a thing of the past.