Good Breeding

A man’s own good breeding is the best security against other people’s ill manners.” –  Lord Chesterfield

What do you do when you come within the sphere of influence of someone with ill manners? Do you recoil and disparage or engage and uplift?

It is well worth the time and effort to train and educate yourself socially. If you don’t, you run the risk of living your life in reaction to those who express themselves less than perfectly.

If you are living your life in reaction to those around you, or perhaps more distressingly, in a perpetual state of worry about of how you appear to others, you will be forever shackled to limitation. If, however, you learn to rise above the void of ill manners by cultivating qualities of character like patience, respect, compassion, forgiveness and sincerity, you’ll find that others’ weaknesses provide you not with another reason to take offense, but another cause for selfless service.

5 thoughts on “Good Breeding

  1. Coco

    I find there are basically two types of rude behavoir. One is ill bred, they simply are ignorant of how to behave. The other is a self concern that has become so ingrained in their behavoir that what is said and what they do is severely warped by their myopic heart. In either case lashing out or becoming exercised is counterproductive to assisting in the situation. Modeling another behavoir may help the first and for the second, they already live in hell. Compassion is always a breath of fresh air.

  2. Ricardo B.

    Yeah, to find the wonder that exists in all people and help them release it from all the detrimental ways that that wonder gets locked out, is surely the greatest endeavor you can aim to accomplish. A wonder freed in someone has the power to make wrong things right, mending hurts and providing real value in this rather lunatic world of ours.

  3. David R

    Cultivation of genuine social grace (as opposed to snobbish affectation) is a glaring chasm in our educational systems. As a result, most people do grow up simply reacting to others and becoming defined by those reactions. Certain rare ones do buck that trend out of whatever internal compulsion it takes to find a different balance. You are obviously one of those, and your consistent light in this area is uniquely refreshing.

    How would the world change if there were the right range of training in this area, combined with people of inherent integrity? I’d certainly like to find out!

  4. Zach

    Unfortunately, we will often run into others that have ill manners. Yet if we have a strong foundation, we will have the self confidence and maturity to not react to them. Forward momentum and a purposeful life combined with the previous traits make dealing with ill manners an exercise in helping another rather than a defensive action for our ego.

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