Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reigniting the 'gentle'woman

There are a few friends and acquaintances that really impress me. They have outstanding manners. It doesn't matter if their sense of etiquette matches mine or not, if their manners are from a similar cultural background, or a same sense of generation. What impresses me is that they are always thoughtful. After all that's what the foundations of etiquette are all about.

I've been lucky enough to grow up with a fine example. On the second day after any event, there will always be a card arrive in the post from mum to say thank you. Maybe, heritage post is a lost tradition. I certainly am not as vigilant in using that medium. I do always try to show my appreciation for thoughtfulness that has been extended to me.

Mum relates that if a woman left the table, or the room, the gentlemen would always stand. I think this is divine and always appreciate that courtesy (though rarely observed today).

Knowledge of the table setting, of how to act when dining, is an art that is worth retaining. The reason it is so precious is that it makes everyone in company feel comfortable to know how to act.

I pine for the return of 'gentle' when it was part of our social responsibility to think of others. The terminology of 'gentle'man and 'gentle'woman I feel was used with good reason.

I've lived within a shadow where I was told that is pretentious. To the contrary, gentle manners are an art! I'm releasing the albatross, and reigniting my authentic self: the self that shows and admires these arts before they are lost. Will you join me?

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