Sunday, January 17, 2016

To Put Others at Ease


Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse.
Whoever makes the fewest people uneasy is the best bred in the room.
Jonathan Swift

Although a lady is skilled in the rules of propriety, she never forgets that without kindness, good manners are utter vanity.  Keenly sensitive to others' feelings, a lady seeks to put people at ease with her warmth and genuine interest in them.  To act in any way that would upset or embarrass another human being would be a violation of her code.  Should a person unwittingly blunder, she exercises quick presence of mind and uncommon courtesy to effectively put him or her at ease.

Queen Victoria masterfully illustrated this noble quality at a British diplomatic reception given in honor of a certain African chieftain.  As the dinner came to a close, the visiting chief who had never seen a finger bowl, picked up his bowl and drank the contents. Stunned guests stared in silence at the foreign dignitary's faux pas; but the Queen, in order to protect her guest from certain humiliation, proceeded to raise her own finger bowl to her lips and drink, whereupon every other guest dutifully followed suit.

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others.
If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” 

Principle:  A lady seeks to put others at ease with her sensitive kindness.

Art: The Cup of Tea by Mary Cassatt

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I believe it is a wonderful skill to develop - making others feel at ease. We know, when on the receiving end, of kindness and inclusion how secure and loved we feel. :)

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    1. You're welcome, Linda! Thank you for sharing ... your way of turning tables to think of how we feel on the receiving end is really the key to putting others at ease.

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  2. I love Mary Cassatt! :)

    I also love this story of Queen Victoria. I plan to tell my children about it tomorrow--what a perfect example of thoughtfulness and graciousness!

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    1. Polly, the story of Victoria is one of my favorites. I first heard it at the American School of Protocol and it made such an impression on me regarding what etiquette is all about. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment!

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  3. hello there Nancy
    I found your blog today as it was reccomended by a lady on another Christian Blog I follow, I have only had chance to read a few posts thus far but what I have read has been wonderful!. Thank you for this blog, I look forward to exploring it further.
    Blessings to you
    Helen UK

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    1. Hello, Helen, I am so happy to hear from you, and thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself. It means so much to hear from readers and to know that some are blessed by what they read here. Warm regards to you!

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  4. I love the story about Queen Victoria......one worth passing along. Thank you for sharing, Nancy.
    I recently came across your blog...,,it is very interesting and look forward to reading more.

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    1. I'm so happy to have you here, KareBear! Thank you for reading and taking the time to say hello.

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