Good Manners. J.C.Hill Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.
We are staying on this planet only for a very short time. Before it is a hundred years, our times are out. We will never see those who we live with again in our lives. Perhaps we will never see a human face again. This is our only chance to see, acquaint with and deal with human beings. So why not behave politely, and please them and help them? A famous British writer’s observations are reintroduced here.
Are you a Boy-Scout? No, I am an egg on toast.
The famous writer J.C.Hill has written a few things on the various factors constituting what good manners are. Men are fragile things come to live in this dangerous world. We are unimportant humble little human beings who shall not pass this way again. During our short stay here, we should help the world as much as we can. A child would not be knowing about the sufferings of his parents, which they would not be willing to tell him. So children should make life easy for them. Good manners come from sympathy with others and from understanding our own limitations. We should strain and train ourselves to remain calm before irritating questions. Once when an old lady, seeing his dress, asked a little boy whether he was a Boy Scout, he was irritated and rudely barked that he was ‘two eggs on toast’. She only meant how nice he looked in a nice uniform and there was really nothing silly in her remark. This is considered improper behaviour towards older people.
Good listeners get enough time to think so that when they speak, they can speak clearly.
Suppose an old man is crossing a young racing cyclist very slowly. The speeding cyclist would be annoyed and irritated at this unexpected obstacle and barricade on his way. Do not scold him for being that slow. He may be weak and losing his agility. A healthy young man who never cared for others once became seriously ill and when he recovered, he was very weak and had to remain so for a few days. Even walking became very difficult for him. It was then that he realized the misery of weak and old people who get no seats in transport buses. He will get back his strength someday but those old people will never get back their’s. So from then onwards he promptly gave up seats for the weak and aged in buses. While in company, we should be very careful in observing good manners. We should speak clearly and sufficiently loud for others to hear us. It is our duty to make ourselves understood. And do not talk too much. Always give others a chance to speak.
Delighted to hear one’s own voice resounded from everywhere.
Some people are delighted to hear their own voice resounded from everywhere and always, and some young men and young women talk away their lives, thinking the company is delighted to hear them, but every one there would really be exhausted and angry at their unpolished and rude behaviour. Good listeners get enough time to think. Don’t say unpleasant things about some one on his back. Such remarks will usually find its way to that person. Always adjust your remarks, thinking that the very person would be overhearing you.
It takes two to speak the truth-one to speak and another to hear.
Many often, what we speak will not be the truth. We shall not hold it that what we speak is truth. The acclaimed American writer Thoreau once said that ‘it takes two to speak the truth- one to speak and another to hear.’ Truth differs from person to person. Socialism might be control of commerce and industry to some, but it is robbing the riches of others to some others. What we think to be true needn’t always be true. J.C.Hill sites an example. Some students were once shown a picture of a bull-fight and asked later to describe it from memory. One said, a bull’s tongue was out. Actually the bull’s mouth was closed, but because its head was turned to the side, its ear had looked like a tongue. So whenever we argue with somebody about a point, think that always there is always a chance of us going wrong.
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You are invited to kindly visit the Author’s Web Site of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum at:
Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking here.
Meet the author
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan : The Intelligent Picture Book.
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When I am walking a way, sometimes I would see old men, women and sick people on the way who strain to walk. I know how they would feel when somebody passes them from the back in full health, vigour of strength and agility of body, for I am a quick walker. So I slacken my steps in whatever hurry and urgent need may I be, so that they may think they are not the only persons who have lost strength. It is our duty not to make them offended, hurt and pining in hearts for their lost health.
Very nice article. Thank you.
Thank you Steve Kinsman for reading it. I have gone through and very much enjoyed your works. I am trying to improve myself to stand in level.