Chapter 30. Etiquette Counts

"Proper etiquette is a legacy we want to pass on to those who will be the leaders of tomorrow."

Good etiquette is one of the easiest and most influential social skills to develop, and almost nothing is more profitable. Yet the very word etiquette is one of the most misunderstood in the English language. Most people assume etiquette involves merely knowing which glass to pick up at a dinner party or making sure to send a thank you note after a wedding shower or Bar Mitzvah. While such discretion is a part of etiquette, there is much more to it.

Etiquette in its purest form is simply being nice—an attribute that seems to escape a lot of people. It is a code of behavior acquired by learning and constant practice. It can be more simply defined as everyday manners and is foundational to the making of a good, successful, and happy life.

We are living links in a chain of wisdom handed down through history. One axiom developed in that chain that best manifests good etiquette is the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Practicing the Golden Rule is practicing etiquette and it proves that we appreciate and respect the rights of others.

Practicing good etiquette builds a bridge through our expressions of kindness to one another. Follow the Golden Rule to its logical conclusion, and you will have formed relations with the many people for whom you harbor good feelings. If more of us tried to build bridges through proper etiquette, there's ...

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