Civilization and Civility

What separates us from the animals? It’s not language or opposable thumbs or even self-awareness.

It’s our behavior. Which explains how the lack of instruction in manners and common decency has led a good portion of our youth astray – behaving rather more like animals than civilized humans.

Allow me to share with you the Unclassified Laws of Etiquette. Selected excerpts:

Never betray a confidence.
Never laugh at the misfortunes of others.
Never fail to give a polite answer to a civil question.
Never associate with bad company. Have good company, or none.
Never exhibit anger, impatience or excitement, when an accident happens.
Never fail to tell the truth. If truthful, you get your reward. You will get your punishment if you deceive.
Never fail to say kind and encouraging words to those whom you meet in distress. Your kindness may lift them out of their despair.
Never refuse to receive an apology. You may not receive friendship, but courtesy will require, when a apology is offered, that you accept it.

And my favorites, combined for effect:

Never fail to speak kindly. Kind words do not cost much, and yet they may carry untold happiness to the one to whom they are spoken. Never give all your pleasant words and smiles to strangers. The kindest words and the sweetest smiles should be reserved for home. Home should be our heaven.

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