The season for civility
“The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another.”
George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright (1856-1950)
On Thanksgiving eve, civility was the topic in the CBS Evening News free speech segment and also an Associated Press story.
Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, talked about extending the gift of decency to the people who serve us every day. An important point was remember their names.
An Associated Press story related the efforts of an Iowa professor who gives tips on dealing with distracted students, read that as students behaving uncivilly in the classroom.
Several weeks ago I served as the congregational liaison for a wedding. My duty was to direct guests to the sanctuary, help them find restrooms, etc. The entry of the bridesmaids was one of the most touching, respectful and chivalrous I’d ever seen. As I watched standing at the back of the sanctuary, I was deeply moved. Each bridesmaid entered the sanctuary and waited at the back of the center aisle for her groomsman to walk from the chancel area down the center aisle and escort her to the front. …..And then during the ceremony, several cell phones rang. Does one have to announce before the ceremony begins “Please turn off your cell phones.”? Print it in the wedding program?
Taped to the counter at Java Joes on Fourth Street in downtown Des Moines:
“Please conclude your cell phone conversation before ordering. (It’s a respect thing.)”
And if you’re there during this holiday season and like egg nog, try the egg nog latte or cappuccino. (I don’t know which it was.) I drink lots of coffee, but rarely lattes or cappuccinos. This egg nog drink was a bit of heaven. I may never drink another because I don’t think it can surpass the Java Joes one.